Working through advocates, The Advocacy Project helps disempowered communities to claim their rights and remove the causes of their disempowerment, in a manner that will produce a larger impact on society. This, to us, is social change. While the process takes time, important progress has been achieved over the past decade: To date, AP has helped partners to raise over $2.4 million dollars, both in direct and indirect funding, see below for a more detailed account.
The Badi are a sub-caste of the Dalit with a long tradition of prostitution. It is hard to escape this legacy, as AP found during a visit to Nepal in 2005. Prior to 2008, many Badi children were denied the right to citizenship because they were born out of wedlock to anonymous clients. (Citizenship was passed down through fathers.) In 2008 AP’s partner, the Jagaran Media Center, mobilized Badi women to march on Kathmandu and launch a protest (left). Many of the women threatened to “out” their anonymous clients, who included MPs and high officials. The government quickly conceded, offered 2.5 million rupees in compensation and agreed that Badi children would receive citizenship. This was subsequently affirmed by the Nepal Supreme Court. It produced social change because it changed government policy and affected all members of the Badi sub-caste.
AP’s partner in Uganda, the WPIO, is working to end one of the world’s most flagrant examples of slavery, by using a community-based strategy of quiet persuasion (“10 for 1 Campaign”). Twice as many slaves were freed in 2008 as in previous years. WPIO made extensive use of AP’s news bulletins and website during this campaign.
The Oruj Learning Center brought girls’ education and introduced women teachers to a remote area of Wardak province, with support from AP. After starting with 36 students in 2002, Oruj supported more than 2,800 girl students in 2008. Oruj also began to change the curriculum through teacher training. AP has helped to raise more than $150,000 for Oruj.
In 2008, AP attended the largest-ever exhumation in Peru, by its partner, the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology team (EPAF). The exhumation played a key role in encouraging relatives for the disappeared to emerge in the Putis region and press their demand for reparations. Using film, press releases, and outreach in the US, AP helped EPAF to promote this breakthrough. AP and EPAF hope to similarly empower other relative associations in Peru, and restore the identity of Peru’s 16,000 disappeared. EPAF has also played a key role in exposing the Cantuta massacre, and securing the conviction of former President Fujimori.
AP Fellows have played a key role in helping AP’s partner, the Women’s Reproductive Rights Program (WRRP) to publicize this terrible condition, which affects 600,000 women and undermines the country’s development. The publicity has had an effect: The Government has created a focal point on prolapse and increased funding for prolapse surgeries. In a breakthrough decision, the Supreme Court has described prolapse as a violation of social and economic rights. Visit the UP campaign pages for more information.
AP has lobbied tirelessly with the women’s group Bosfam to ensure that the 1995 massacre is never forgotten, and that the perpetrators are brought to justice. In 2003, when this campaign began, Muslims were turned away when they tried to cross the Inter-Entity Bounday Line and visit the massacre site. By 2012, over 40,000 visitors attended the annual commemorative event. All of those indicted by the Hague Tribubal have been arrested. Visit the campaign pages for more information.
AP was the only international human rights organizations to consistently support the Travellers of Dale Farm, who suffer from profound discrimination and prejudice. AP’s bulletins and blogs were extensively used by the Travellers in their lobbying, and in 2008, they achieved a major success when the British High Court ruled that the Travellers could not be evicted until the local council provided housing or found alternative land. This ruling offers a key interpretation of Britain’s 1998 Human Rights Act and affects all ethnic minorities in Britain. Unfortunately, the Travellers were evicted in 2011, but their campaign galvanized advocacy for the Roma throughout Europe.
In November 2008, the government of Guatemala offered reparations to 28 indigenous communities in Baha Verapaz province who were affected by the Rio Negro massacres and Chixoy Dam in 1982. This marked a high point for the Rio Negro survivors who also submitted a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Spanish courts which could create important legal precedents. The Spanish Supreme Court has ruled that the case is covered by universal jurisdiction. AP has sent five volunteers to work with the Rio Negro survivors since 2003, and supported the launch of the Rio Negro Memorial Quilt.
In 2003, AP helped the Kosova Women’s Network to develop a website and newsletter. These have helped KWN to become a leading advocate for women’s rights in the new Kosovo and reach out to Women in Black, a prominent Serbian advocate and AP partner. Together, the two groups built a common platform based on respect for women’s rights, through the Women’s Peace Coalition. Within Kosovo, KWN has helped to launch a new women’s group that aims to protect women from the ethnic Serb minority in Kosovo itself – a key example of promoting reconciliation.
In 2008, the Sri Lankan government allowed leading NGOs to participate at two commissions of inquiry investigating notorious killings. This was the first time since 1948 that civil society was given such standing at a commission of inquiry. The NGO participation was coordinated by AP Peace Fellow Adam Nord. Between 2008 and 2011, AP supported a major program by HHR to support community-development groups in 50 villages in the conflicted north and northeast of the country. The program was funded by the US Department of State and European Community.
|Afghan Women’s Network||$117,649|
|Dale Farm Travellers (UK)||$500|
|Dzeno (Romodrom) (Czech Republic)||$600|
|Forum of Srebrenica NGOs (Bosnia)||$20,000|
|HHR (Sri Lanka)||$283,974|
|Kosovo Women’s Network||$33,890|
|Oruj Learning Center (Afghanistan)||$228,760|
|Roma Information Project (East Europe)||$106,014|
|SOS Femmes En Danger (DRC)||$292,062|
Total Direct Fundraising:
Fundraising Through Fellows
|Tunza Mazingera (DRC)||$785|
|Total Fellow Funding||$27,233|
|All AP Partners||$250,000|
|All AP Partners||$732,000|
Total Indirect Fundraising
Total Raised by AP for Partners
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