WORKING GROUP 2
Representatives from faith communities together with representatives from the IOM, UNHCR and European Economic and Social Committee met to discuss the impact of policies concerning migration, asylum and refugee status on people on the move and on the receiving communities.
The second working group met in Berlin in March 2019.
ANNA HJÄLM, program director of A World of Neighbours, sums up the discussions and explains how the working groups feed in to the goal of the program, shared strategies for a society built on peaceful coexistence in Europe.
PETER PROVE from the World Council of Churches on the need to connect the challenges in Europe with the situation in the countries from which refugees come.
JOSÉ ANTONIO MORENO DIAZ from the European Economic and Social Committee – European Union speaks about our obligation to change our view on migrants and migration – a normal procedure throughout history.
ANIKO BAKONYI from Helsinki Committee – Hungary speaks of how the discourse on migration has become politicized and less on why people who need to flee have the right of protection.
SAID BARKAN from Central Council of Muslims in Germany speaks of the faith communities being allies strengthen the work for migrants.
FRANCESCO SCIOTTO from Diaconia Valdese says he believes meeting and welcoming people is the solution to racism and fear.
BERNWARD OSTROP from Caritas, Germany on his own experience working with people on the move.
Report: Working Group on Policy Making
EXCERPT: The working group in Berlin convened between the 18th and 20th of March 2019 focused on policy-making through the lens of religious communities as 2 receiving communities. These three days aimed at providing ways of encouragement and involvement of those who are most affected by the policies, but too often are not at the decision table.
The working group was meant as a way for affiliated humanitarian organizations, and their partners in the broader civil society, to communicate their problems, needs and observations. The following goals were used to organize discussions:
- To consider the policy dimension to the work of receiving communities on with refugees, migrants, and other displaced persons in Europe.
- To consider methodologies for addressing policy through advocacy (direct), and social norms and participatory democracy (indirect) approaches.
- To mobilize the interreligious movement, in conjunction with other civil society actors, in fostering more effective and humane policy, at local, national, and European-wide levels.
- To shape the work and strategy of the ‘World of Neighbors” initiative, and to enlist receiving communities into collaborative partnerships towards impacting policy in constructive ways.
The following report gathers the most important inputs provided by the participants coming from a number of organizations involved in advocacy on migration issues at local, regional, national and European levels.