Call for papers: Civil society, faith-based organizations, forced migration

Dear ASAP Colleagues:

I am pleased to circulate an abstract for a roundtable session that is being proposed for the 2016 International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) conference that will be held in Poznan Poland, July 12-15, 2016 at Adam Mickiewicz University (please see abstract below).  Additional information about the conference may be found at the call for papers: http://iasfm.org/iasfm16/call-for-papers/

We are interested in participation by academic and practitioner colleagues, and especially those whose primary affiliation is with a faith-based organization (FBO).  A modest travel stipend is available for a FBO representative whose proposal for presentation is accepted for the roundtable.

The deadline for the roundtable abstract is February 1, however we believe that it will be possible to add participants after that date.  If you or your colleagues may be interested or have questions, please contact Marietta Baba at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Best regards,
Marietta Baba

2016 International Association for the Study of Forced Migration
Proposal for a Roundtable:

The Role of Civil Society and Faith-Based Organizations in Support, Protection and Re-Integration of Women and Children Exploited through Forced Labor

Civil society and faith-based organizations have been effective in the support, protection, and re-integration of women and children who have been exploited through forced labor (e.g., human trafficking, debt bondage).  Coalitions of these organizations have drawn attention to factors contributing to such practices and encouraged policies that direct actions against them.  These organizations are important because they respond directly to the urgent needs of displaced persons, giving voice to those who otherwise might not be heard and connecting their needs to diverse networks of supporters for an effect that can produce enduring results.  Civil society and faith-based organizations develop contacts with individuals and groups inside communities of displaced persons, engendering relationships of care that are capable of delivering assistance and protection that may not be available through formal channels of authority.  It is acknowledged that civil society and faith-based organizations reflect diverse conceptions of forced labor across societies that are not always in agreement with one another or with state policy.  Coming together in coalitions that can influence policy is a unique achievement that deserves our understanding.

We propose a roundtable for the open discussion and sharing of ideas related to the role of civil society and faith-based organizations in the protection, support and re-integration of women and children who have been exploited through forced labor, especially, but not exclusively, through sex trafficking and prostitution, including situations involving sexual slavery.  Practitioners and academics with experience working in/with/for such organizations or related coalitions are invited to submit presentations for the roundtable to address one or more of the following questions, or to propose their own question(s) for discussion:

•    What should be the role(s) of civil society and/or faith-based organizations in protection, support and re-integration of exploited women and children as distinct from other organizations (if there should be distinct roles)?

•    Should civil society and/or faith-based organizations be delegated or contracted with for some of the responsibilities that currently are the province of state authorities and/or international organizations (e.g., to add capacity for data collection)?

•    Should civil society and/or faith-based organizations be encouraged to adopt policy or practice positions independent of or different to the state (e.g., to ensure that policies designed to prevent trafficking or other practices do not have an adverse effect on the human rights of those abused)?  If so, how are the organizations’ actions to be reconciled with or accommodated to those of state authorities?

•    How have diverse interest groups with different conceptions of forced labor achieved common ground that enabled them to form an effective coalition?

•    Provide recent examples or case studies of ways in which a coalition made a programmatic or policy change at the local, regional or national level.  What strategies were engaged to bring civil society, faith-based and other coalition members into agreement?

A modest stipend is available for representatives of faith-based organizations whose presentations are accepted for this roundtable.