Many organizations and individuals approach the issue of forced displacement through a humanitarian or charity lens – but refugee leaders themselves are not asking for charity. They expect our solidarity and a seat at the table to make decisions and influence policies affecting their own lives and rights.
This year, the Global Refugee Forum will take place on December 13-15, 2023 in Geneva, for the first time in four years. World leaders are meeting to make decisions that will affect the lives of refugees at this Forum, but refugees must be key actors in these decisions, not passive beneficiaries. In partnership with R-SEAT, the Taking the Lead Network, made up of refugee-led organizations from across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East, will take recommendations from 11 Refugee-Led Organisations to the Global Refugee Forum, in a campaign developed together with Data4Change and MobLab Collective.
Some of their recommendations include:
- Improve opportunities for refugees to access jobs and create livelihoods, including those living in refugee camps
- Remove barriers for refugees to access educational opportunities
- Commit to increasing resettlement numbers and alternative pathways for resettlement such as community sponsorship and more
- Improve access to proper healthcare for refugees living in camps
- Increase funding for refugee-led organizations working on LGBTQI+ issues, particularly in the global south
- Increase access to digital tools and the internet for refugees living in camps
Ahead of the Forum, refugee leaders have already influenced governments to change policies and improve access to services, integration, and resettlement for refugees. The Kenyan government, for example, has recently gazetted the refugee ID, effectively enabling refugees to get jobs in Kenya, which is a testament to the power and determination of refugee advocates. The Kenyan government has outlined a vision for refugees including equitable healthcare for refugees and host communities, inclusive social protection, eradication of statelessness, specific education and training strategy, and more. Youth Voices Community, a refugee-led organization in Kenya, expressed their belief and hope that refugee concerns, contributions, empowerment and self-reliance are a priority under the current government, but also that there are many more steps to take. Together with other refugee-led and allied organizations, their collective advocacy letter identifies four priority areas for sustained refugee inclusion.
During the Global Refugee Forum, you can also amplify the work of refugee leaders by sharing their recommendations for action and re-tweeting their updates from #RefugeeForum and #GRF2023. We invite all refugee-led organizations who are not attending the Forum to add your recommendations to the discussion with the hashtag #RefugeeForum and to join the Taking the Lead network. To learn more about the network and follow updates throughout the Global Refugee Forum, we invite you to read the Taking the Lead Blog, which is sharing the stories and voices from a 390-member strong network of refugee leaders.
As we are witnessing the ongoing assault on, mass displacement of civilians, and ethnic cleansing across the occupied Palestinian Territories, we would like to share an excerpt from Lara Elborno, a Palestinian-American international lawyer: “As we struggle for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, an end to the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, and the dismantling of Israel’s apartheid regime, so that freedom becomes a reality for all people who live from the river to the sea, let my remarks be a reminder in the equal importance of witnessing not only our suffering in these moments, but also our deep humanity, our dignity. Because witnessing humanity is an act of resistance against colonial violence designed to strip people of their humanity; against colonial powers working overtime to convince you that this genocidal reality is inevitable. My message to you today is that it is not. Rather, freedom is inevitable. So please continue in this moment to do the most important thing that you can do by displaying unapologetic, unequivocal political solidarity with the Palestinian People, who are a symbol of hope and dignity for all oppressed people worldwide.” Watch the full speech here.
Solidarity, not charity!
From Ani and MobLab Collective
Campaigning and organizing
- Tech labor activists at Google circulated an internal petition on ties to Israel – but only one Muslim employee was singled out by HR and held as responsible. [The Intercept]
- Refugee-led organisations play a key but overlooked role in humanitarian action. How can new insights on their funding drive inclusive changes to enhance transparency, funding and advocacy? [Taking the Lead]
- In a historic coordinated action dockers and port workers affiliated with the European Dockworkers Council are taking #StopArmingIsrael actions across their workplaces. #SolidarityInAction
- Different organizations and individuals are coming together to join the decentralized #NoTechForApartheid campaign – learn what you can do as a tech worker by adding your email to get info here.
- #SwiftiesForPalestine are mobilizing for Palestinian freedom, harnessing the power of fandom & hoping to get support from the most powerful artist in the world. “We have faith in Taylor…to use the immense power she has to stop genocide.” [Substack]
- Palestine Action, an affinity network with chapters in the US and UK, is waging an international campaign against Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest drone supplier—and they want you to get involved. [The Real News]
- Grief and the workplace: why leaders need to care. As bombing resumes in Gaza, Leila Billing reminds us that organizational staff members are not okay. Many are grieving, deeply angry, and balancing work with necessary activism. She is resurfacing this article that she wrote during the pandemic about how NGOs can support staff during times of grief. #ceasefirenow [Medium]
- Vu Le from Nonprofit AF shares 10 DEI lessons that we seem to have forgotten and need to remind ourselves of as we talk about Israel and Palestine. [Nonprofit AF]
- Here are 100+ art posters in solidarity with Palestine free for you to download, share, and distribute. JustSeeds has also shared this Palestine Will Be Free graphic care package. #ArtistsAgainstApartheid [Artists Against Apartheid]
- Lessons on organizing with trade unions to build solidarity actions: This short guide shares valuable lessons learned about building effective relations with trade unions to #StopArmingIsrael. [Workers in Palestine]
- Systemic Justice has developed this toolkit to equip communities fighting for justice use the full power of litigation on their terms. This guide provides a fuller picture of the myriad of ways legal action can be taken – beyond just the courtrooms. There are many real cases, showing how legal strategies serve campaigns for change around the world. [Systemic Justice]
- Serena Adlerstein shares ten components of good strategy, encompassing culture, goals, governance, narrative and more. No matter where you are in your strategy work, this is worth reading and reflecting over collectively. [The Forge]
- Amnesty International launched its global website as an .onion site on the Tor network to make their human rights research safely accessible. In recent years, a number of countries such as Vietnam, Algeria, China, Iran, Russia and more have blocked access to Amnesty International. In order to access the onion site, one must first download the Tor Browser through the official Tor Project website. [Amnesty International]
- Anamaria Dorgo compiled 25 free guides, playbooks, and handbooks into a single PDF you can use to design and deliver excellent solutions when it comes to team collaboration, innovation, and creativity. [LinkedIn]
- MobLab Collective Campaign Accelerator training dates announced for London, Berlin and Brasilia in 2024 – apply here.
- Calling all early-career scholars, activists, & policymakers! Join us for the 2nd IAFFE Feminist Economics School in July 2024. Delve into key aspects of feminist economics thinking, methodologies, and policy application. Travel grants available. Apply by 31 December. [International Association for Feminist Economics]
- Young Gamechangers Grant is a rare grant for both individuals (down to the age of 10!) and organizations to apply for funding for youth-led advocacy work. Apply by 19 December. [Coop Foundation UK]
- 4 Day Work Week is on the lookout for workers who want to win a four-day week. Please get in touch if you’re running a workplace campaign, or you want support to help set one up. Remember: The 4-day week is a reasonable, achievable demand that is a win-win for employers and employees. [Twitter]
Looking to create change (or make a change)? Scan these open roles in campaigning, digital innovation and social change leadership. Have a job to share? Reply directly to this email with a link to the job that you’d like us to share in the next Dispatch. Note: we will only share jobs that have transparent salary ranges. This is essential for ethical recruitment. #ShowTheSalary and #BanUnpaidInternships
- Advocacy Coordinator – Just Associates (JASS) – Apply by 22 December. [Remote, preference in the Southern Africa, MENA, or East Africa region]
- Communication Strategy Consultant – Mama Cash – Apply by 13 December. [Remote]
- Co-Executive Director – If/When/How – Apply by [unspecified date] December 2023. [Remote, United States]
- Director of Activism and Education – Amnesty International UK – Apply by 12 January 2024 [hybrid working / London, UK]
- Learning and Impact Managing Officer – Urgent Action Fund for Feminist Activism – Apply by 4 January [Remote, United States]
- Advocacy Officer – EuroChild – Apply by 11 January [Brussels, Belgium]
Categories:culture and leadershipnarrative, framing and storytellingorganising, mobilising and engagement