June 04, 2021

Mercy Global Action Hosts First Advocacy Workshop on Migration and Development

On Tuesday May 25th, the Mercy Global Action (MGA) team offered the first of three virtual advocacy workshops. Our first workshop was facilitated by Cecilie Kern, MGA’s Global Policy and Research Associate, and focused on the topic of Migration & Development, ahead of the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

The workshop aimed to:

  1. Build capacity and skills for critical thinking, analysis and advocacy. Equip participants with the tools and strategies to advocate in areas of migration and development
  2. Learn about Mercy Global Action’s strategy for advocacy and how to participate in advocacy on our key justice priorities
  3. Introduce core documents in relation to migration/development in 2021
  1. Identify allies/network in relation to migration/development
  2. Create their own advocacy pitch on migration and development
  3. Encourage participants to seek out ways to engage in advocacy in their region
  4. Instill curiosity and explore the theological dimension of migration and sustainable development
  • How do we engage the theological dimension in our advocacy?

The interactive workshop took place in two sessions:

The first session began with Setting the Stage for Advocacy. “Advocacy involves speaking out for those who have been silenced in their efforts to rectify injustice. It demands our engagement with the issues and initiatives of those who struggle for life, justice, equity, rights and peace. Advocacy is a mission activity of the church in the world. It is one way in which the church participates in the ongoing mission.” (World Council of Churches, 2009 Praying, Speaking Out and Acting Together: Theological Reflection on Advocacy). Key to this session was a deeper understanding of the theological background of advocacy and an introduction to the Mercy Justice Advocacy Approach. As Mercy advocates, we must ground ourselves in the experience of Earth and people, undertake self-reflection, understand our tools for advocacy, know our allies and who we are advocating for, and lastly, take courageous steps towards action leading to advocacy.

In the MGA Advocacy Showcase, Cecilie honed in on the processes of international advocacy, specifically detailing the negotiation process towards the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration in 2016-2018 and how our Mercy advocacy is strengthened through our global coalitions. Siobhan Golden, former MGA intern, highlighted the Mercy Global Action COVID-19 Task force which utilized the Mercy Justice Advocacy Approach to lift up the experiences of Mercy networks during the COVID-19 pandemic and create strategic recommendations to individuals, faith-leaders, governments and more.

In the second session, participants delved into the Tools, Tactics and Resources used in advocacy. Attendees were introduced to the key strategies of engaging and influencing target negotiators and analyzed advocacy meeting “do’s and don’ts”.

Participants then engaged in an activity to prepare an advocacy pitch. The key question was “if you were in an elevator with your target decision-maker, what would you say?” Before entering into breakout sessions, Cecilie demonstrated a timed advocacy pitch on climate-induced displacement which called on key negotiators to submit a draft resolution to the United Nations General Assembly in order to take action for those displaced by the impacts of climate change. In breakout sessions, participants had time to develop their own advocacy pitch on particular issues surrounding migration and development and receive feedback. Advocacy pitches included issues of human trafficking, migrant workers’ rights, the death penalty, permanent protection for asylum seekers, implementation of Laudato Si’ and more.

The workshop concluded with Future Plans for Mercy Global Action Advocacy on migration and development; particularly upcoming opportunities for advocacy at the UN. Join us in our efforts to continue to advocate with a strong Mercy Voice. Upcoming advocacy areas include:

  • The High Level Political Forum in July 2021 (linked above). The theme is "Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development".
  • Follow up and review of the Global Compact on Migration through the International Migration Review Forum. The International Migration Review Forum shall take place every four years beginning in 2022. Governments will be making voluntary reports and it is our hope that NGOs will be called upon for assistance in the reporting.
  • Mercy Global Action will be launching a Migration Task Force made up of Mercy Global Action staff, Sisters, and Partners in ministry from Mercy Congregations and Institutes around the world. The Migration Task Force will aim to collect stories, research and good practices from around the Mercy World and conduct analysis on migration and intersecting issues of displacement.

Stay tuned for more Mercy Global Action Advocacy Workshops! MGA will host two more advocacy workshops in 2021. Click here to RSVP.

  • Tuesday, 3 August on the topic of Climate Justice & Water, ahead of UN COP26, and
  • Tuesday, 23 November on the topic of Domestic and Family Violence.

Prayer for Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers

God, no one is stranger to you
And no one is ever far from your loving care.
In your kindness watch over migrants, refugees and asylum seekers,
Those separated from their loved ones,
Those who are lost
And those who have been exiled from their homes.
Bring them safely to the place where they long to be,
And help us always to show your kindness to strangers
And those in need.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,
Who too was a refugee and migrant
Who travelled to another land
Searching for a home.


[SOURCE: Nouwen Network]

Messages to: Colleen Swain - Leadership and Advocacy Associate MIA-MGA

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