New publication Engaging refugees and migrants as peace advocates
Today, Afghans and Syrians constitute the highest numbers of immigrants in Germany and Europe. In this Policy Brief, the authors argue that policy must recognise the significant potential of Afghan and Syrian refugees and migrants in Germany and beyond as peace advocates and change agents in contributing to peace processes in Afghanistan and Syria.
Scholars and practitioners agree that refugees’ and migrants’ involvement in peace processes renders these processes more sustainable. They further recognise that their engagement in confronting the past increases long-term prospects for peace. In BICC Policy Brief 22021 “Engaging refugees and migrants as peace advocates-How Germany can contribute to peace in Syria and Afghanistan”, the authors Katja Mielke and Esther Meininghaus make the following policy recommendations to the German government:
Engage refugees and migrants as peace advocates German policymakers—especially of the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO), the Federal Ministries of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and of the Interior (MoI), and federal states—and educational organisations should draw upon the engagement of refugees and migrants from Afghanistan and Syria as agents of change who have a positive influence on peace processes.
Create civic engagement for peace programmes that offer refugees and migrants in Germany opportunities to engage themselves in peace for their countries of origin
Civic and peace education organisations (such as adult education centres, Civil Peace Service–Ziviler Friedensdienst) should jointly develop new civic engagement for peace programmes that refugees and migrants themselves can join to engage for peace for their country of origin. These programmes should build on refugees’ and migrants’ past experiences of war, politics and future visions specific to their respective country of origin so that they are meaningful for those engaged and the population groups they represent.
Launch new funding formats to support self-determined civic engagement for peace
GFFO, BMZ, MoI and state governments should provide decentralised funding through civic education institutions (political foundations, bpb, lpbs, ifa) for two types of addressees conducting civic education for peace programmes: Civic and peace education organisations and direct funding for Syrian- and Afghan-led initiatives. They should provide longer-term project funding, funding for independent initiatives, funding to rent meeting spaces, and support unbureaucratic and transparent funding application processes. The GFFO should consider providing funding in addition to existing funding lines by the MoI to join expertise on civic education (MoI) and peace support (GFFO).
Link Afghan and Syrian civic education for peace initiatives in Germany to peace processes
The GFFO should act as a facilitator in linking Afghan- and Syrian-led peacemaking initiatives in Germany with official track 1, 2 and 3 peace processes mediated by bodies like the United Nations (participation, advisory roles).
You will find BICC Policy Brief 22021 “Engaging refugees and migrants as peace advocates-How Germany can contribute to peace in Syria and Afghanistan” as a pdf at:
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