Presentation on theme: "Consensus Building Workshop for an Advocacy Strategy on Population Issues in Lebanon 3 – 4 April 2006 Experiences in Advocacy: Presented by: Ms. Seta Hadeshian."— Presentation transcript:
Consensus Building Workshop for an Advocacy Strategy on Population Issues in Lebanon 3 – 4 April 2006 Experiences in Advocacy: Presented by: Ms. Seta Hadeshian - Director MECC Unit On Life & Service
Middle East Council of Churches Issues for advocacy –Refugee issues, Migrants, Asylum seekers and refugees –Detention & Warehousing –Ratification of 1951 UN Refugee Convention –Implementation of human rights laws –Migrant workers Laws Target Group –MECC Staff, Churches, Ecumenical, International and Non – Governmental organizations, theological students, NGO workers, government representatives and staff of concerned institutions, judges, lawyers, decision makers, civil society members.
Objectives to be Achieved To Raise awareness on issues of uprooted people To increase access to immigration detention centers or other places, e.g. jails, where “uprooted people” may be held. To achieve the implementation of policies to provide alternatives to detention, to minimize the use of detention and to provide humane conditions for those detained.
Objectives to be Achieved To provide legal assistance to detainees. To advocate for countries’ ratification of various United Nations’ (UN) Conventions on human rights to better protect detainees and other “uprooted people”. To promote close collaboration between NGOs, Civil Society members sharing the same concern.
Main Results Shared information, experience and knowledge. Increased public awareness. Become engaged in promoting change in justice & policies. Sensitized to the issues & rights of detained people which will lead to attitudinal and behavioral change. Built solidarity with detained people.
Main Results Motivated to be actively involved with detained people and engage in advocacy activity. Empower target group with advocacy skills: lobbying, letter writing, ensuring media support, using public events, meetings, conferences, participation to demonstrations. Building networks & coalitions, alliances with NGOs of similar concern or same vision and human right workers.
Main Constraints Ignorance, unaware of the issue. National Laws – Non Ratification of 1951 UN Convention on Refugee rights. Ratification but non implementation of Human Rights laws. Inefficient Communication system or lack of communication & cooperation between UNHCR and government.
Very few NGOs are directly involved or concerned with refugees. Stereotyped attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers: racism, discrimination and Xenophobia, hostile communities. Lack of skills in advocacy work Lack of financial and human resources. Main Constraints
Lessons Learned A clear understanding of refugee needs. Refugees should be protected by law. Legal protection should be provided for asylum seekers National laws should be amended. Use International Human Rights Convention Instruments and Protect Rights. Improve conditions in detention centers. Develop a new philosophy.