Jamil Ghafouri, 2019

Professional Development Course on Advocacy for Afghan Diaspora

The Professional Development Course on Advocacy for Afghan Diaspora to strengthen participants’ capacity, expertise and knowledge in advocating for the rights of Afghans in need of protection, and provided an interdisciplinary overview on forced migration covering political, legal, social, and economic aspects.

Professional Development Course on Advocacy for Afghan Diaspora

  

The Professional Development Course on Advocacy for Afghan Diaspora aimed to strengthen participants’ capacity, expertise and knowledge in advocating for the rights of Afghans in need of protection, and provided an interdisciplinary overview on forced migration covering political, legal, social, and economic aspects. It examined the role of civil society, humanitarian agencies, governments, the private sector, the media, UN agencies and developed an understanding on how to better promote the rights of displaced Afghans. It also strengthened linkages between the diaspora and civil society in Afghanistan for more effective advocacy. The course also discussed specific advocacy tools, highlighted successful (and unsuccessful) advocacy models, and discussed the components of an advocacy strategy. The course has been adapted and drawn from the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) Short Course, an annual course organised by APRRN since 2012.

The course was spread over 3.5 days, and covered a range of issues, not limited to:

  • Introduction to human rights, refugee rights and migrant rights - Understanding international instruments in the context of forced displacement
  • Introduction to advocacy and challenges in advocating for forced migrants
  • Roles of various advocacy actors e.g., UN agencies, civil society, networks, academia, media - National frameworks and tools (strategic litigation, working with government, national networking etc.)
  • Developing a successful advocacy strategy
  • Practical tools: Utilising the media/social media in advocating for refugee rights; engaging with the general public and countering negative perceptions/myths; community engagement/civil society engagement strategies for effective advocacy
  • Case studies of successful advocacy models

The course was delivered through a combination of lectures both online and onsite. Participants were expected to do the assigned readings and brief preparatory exercise before the course. Participants also conducted practical group work over the 3.5 days, which gave them the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills acquired. The course was presented by experts working on forced migration issues and included academics, activists, UNHCR representatives and NGO workers.

Participants

The course was designed for 25 individuals, who were already working on forced migration issues in Europe and were part of or connected with the Afghan diaspora – whether through service provision, advocacy or academia. It was expected that participants would primarily come from the diaspora, although representatives from the following sectors were also considered i.e. NGO workers, policy makers, caseworkers, researchers, post-graduate students.

Read below the snapshot of event evaluation findings.

Advocacy Training Snapshot