OUTREACH & ADVOCACY

Introduction

Through its outreach and advocacy initiatives, M.A.P seeks to create a stronger understanding of the refugee situation amongst the public and relevant authorities with a view to foster empathy, inform humanitarian policies and promote refugees’ integration into the host community. Often, host communities do not have access to reliable information regarding the circumstances, background and characteristics of this group. For instance, refugees are often perceived as “illegal immigrants” without an understanding of the conditions under which they have been forced out of their homelands.

  

Through innovative and unique measures, M.A.P strives to build a constructive and fruitful dialogue between the host and refugee communities in collaboration with key stakeholders. M.A.P’s outreach and advocacy initiatives are an attempt to address the common misperceptions about the refugee community and promote inter-cultural exchange and understanding. 

Programmes

Public Outreach in Collaboration with UNHCR

This project has been implemented in collaboration with UNHCR for the creation of simple, easy-to-understand material containing information about the refugee community living in India. These include pamphlets addressing myths about refugees, as well as a set of postcards featuring inspiring stories of refugees from diverse profiles and nationalities. The idea is for the host community to gain insight into refugees’ lives, relate to them at a personal level, and recognise the contribution they can make to society. Wide dissemination of both the pamphlets and postcards in schools/colleges and public fora is underway.    

Regional Engagement

M.A.P is a member of Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), an open and growing network consisting of more than 300 civil society organisations and individuals from 28 countries committed to advancing the rights of refugees in the Asia Pacific region. At APRRN, M.A.P is a part of the working groups on legal aid, regional protection, and women and girls at risk. 

Engagement with NHRC

In 2015, M.A.P successfully engaged with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to emphasise the urgent need for a domestic asylum framework in India. M.A.P made a presentation on the need for a domestic asylum law before the NHRC Board which consisted of some of the most prominent and influential officials from the government and the judiciary. 

Engagement with European Union

M.A.P was invited by the European Delegation’s Working Group on Human Rights to make a presentation on India’s Refugee Law Policy in 2014. The audience comprised of diplomats from various EU countries stationed in India.

Workshops at Law Schools

M.A.P has conducted refugee law workshops in top law schools such as the National Law School of India University (Bengaluru), Jindal Global Law School (Sonipat) and National University of Juridical Sciences (Kolkata). These seminars and workshops introduced the students to refugee law and policy in India, and highlighted the need for due process norms to be upheld in asylum determination procedures.