Advocacy is an important part of our work
In Iraq and Jordan, we work closely with refugees. In these countries, advocacy is crucial. Displaced people are often scared, have no money, and no one to help them. Our team on the ground supports them in their dealings with officials and those in power locally. They ensure the refugees are treated well regardless of religion or ethnicity. See our ‘Voices of Iraq’ project to learn more about the people we are helping.
We also engage in advocacy at the government level. We meet with people of influence, either in Whitehall or at Parliament, or with other NGOs. Speaking with decision makers is a key part of our work. We want them to take action to help the refugees in our care.
For example, at a recent meeting with the Department for International Development (DFID), we asked the British government to provide resources directly to the Christians in Iraq. Sadly, Iraqi Christians do not get much support from the UN, so we are lobbying governments to provide it directly.
Our CEO Mike Simpson went to Brussels where he met with Lars Adaktusson, a prominent Member of the European Parliament.
This followed an important conference at the parliament: ‘A Future for Christians in Iraq’. Many important people attended this conference, including Iraqi bishops and government ministers, as well as members of the Kurdish Regional Government.
NGOs also attended (FRRME was a co-sponsor), along with representatives from the EPP (the largest political group in the European Parliament) and US State Department.
Following presentations, there was a signing of a ‘joint position paper’ on reconstruction, the right to return, reconciliation, and security. Lars Adaktusson restated the demands of Iraqi Christians for the right to live in their own homes freely, safely and with the opportunity to follow their Christian faith as equal citizens.
Advocacy continues to be a vital and growing area of our work. We will continue to work with politicians from across the political divide to achieve our objectives.