Negotiating Transcultural Lives: Developing Culturally Uplifting and Human Rights-Based Projects for Refugees Indigenous and Minority Leaders from Southern Philippines International Training Center Northern Illinois University 12-13 June 2010 Refugee Resource &Research Institute of Indiana, Inc. Objectives 1. Introduce Human Rights-Based Approach to program and project development; 2. Appreciate the impact and interconnectedness of culture, gender and human rights in program and project development; 3. Identify and analyze the tensions between human rights and cultural norms and practices; 4. Discuss alternative strategies; 5. Familiarize with culturally sensitive approaches to program and project development; 6. Enhance program delivery; 7. Come up with a specific program or project using what was learned in the workshop Key Concepts Human Rights Based Approach to Programming A human rights-based approach to programming is a conceptual framework and methodological tool for ensuring that human rights principles are reflected in policies and national development frameworks. Human rights are the minimum standards that people require to live in freedom and dignity. They are based on the principles of universality, indivisibility, interdependence, equality and non- discrimination. It is an approach where human rights determine relationship between rights holders and duty bearers and their obligations, and works towards strengthening the capacities of rights-holders to make their claims and of duty bearers to meet their obligations. (Developed at the Inter-Agency Workshop on a human rights-based approach in the context of UN reform, 3 to 5 May 2003.) Key concepts.. Systematic Use of Human Rights-Based Programming Through the systematic use of human rights-based programming, Refugee Resource seeks to empower people to exercise their rights and to live free from violence. It does this by supporting programs aimed at giving all refugees, men, women and young people (‘rights holders’) the information, life skills and education they need to claim and enjoy their rights. Key Concepts… It also contributes to capacity-building among public officials, teachers, health-care workers and others who have a responsibility to fulfill these rights (‘duty bearers’).In addition, Refugee Resource aims to strengthen civil society organizations, which often serve as intermediaries between the government and individuals, and promotes mechanisms by which duty bearers can be held accountable. Key Terms 1. Stakeholders - include, inter alia, NGOs, national human rights institutions, human rights defenders, academic institutions and research institutes, regional organizations, as well as civil society representatives. (Resolution 5/1 Human Rights Council) 2. Right Holders-every human being is a right-holder. Specific right holders are identified depending on the nature of the program. Ex. Women and girls are the rights holders. Education is a basic human right and therefore it is the obligation of states to provide a school environment which ensures equal access to girls and boys. States must not only guarantee that women and girls are safe in schools, but also establish facilities, curricula and strategies that adapt to their specific needs and rights, and will thus keep them in school. (Human Rights: Promoting Gender Equality In and Through Education) Key Terms.. Cont’d 3. Duty Bearers State -As parties to human rights treaties, states have assumed the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of every man, woman and child. International Community Public Officials Teachers Parents NGOs and NGO workers and others who have a responsibility to fulfill, uphold and protect these rights 4. Trancultural –merging and converging cultures Rationale for Human Rights Based Approach to Program Development 1. Reduces gaps in equity and equality. 2. Relies on broad participation. 3. Targets marginalized or excluded groups 4. Empowers both duty bearers and rights holders 5. Addresses the root causes of human rights violations 6. Is concerned with budget allocations and public accountability 7. Promotes gender equality 8. Is culturally sensitive 9. Contributes to a climate conducive to Human Rights 10. Keeps abreast of International Standards 11. Ensures sustainability Cultural Sensitivity in Designing and Implementing Projects “In our development efforts in poor communities, we need to be able to work with people at their own level and to find common ground. We may notbelieve in what they do, we may not agree with them, but we need to have the compassion and thecommitment to understand them and to support them as they translate universal principles into their own codes, messages and ways of doing things. Human rights is our frame of reference. And we use culturally sensitive approaches to promote human rights in ways that people can identify with and can internalize in the context of their own lives.” Thoraya Obaid Executive Director, UNFPA Cultural sensitivity.. Cont’d 1. Invest time in knowing the culture in which you are operating. 2. Hear what the community has to say. 3. Demonstrate respect. 4. Show patience. 5. Gain the support of local power structures. 6. Be inclusive. 7. Provide solid evidence. 8. Rely on the objectivity of science. 9. Avoid value judgements. 10. Use language sensitively. 11. Work through local allies. 12. Assume the role of facilitator. Cultural Sensitivity… cont’d 13. Honor commitments. 14. Know your adversaries. 15. Find common ground. 16. Accentuate the positive. 17. Use advocacy to effect change. 18. Create opportunities for women. 19. Build community capacity. 20. Reach out through popular culture. 21. Let people do what they do best. 22. Nurture partnerships. 23. Celebrate achievements. 24. Never give up. Karen Farm Project The Karen is one of largest ethnic group in Burma. Predominantly rice farmers, they live in the eastern Lower Burma, along the Thai border. Throughout their existence they have based their lives on the cultivation of rice paddies, and their villages are moved from one location to another in order to harvest what is the most important part of their diet. The UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights While many are rice farmers, those Part 1, Article 1 in the delta use a different technique All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that in planting vegetables and other right they freely determine their political status and freely different crops. pursue their economic, social and cultural development. Community Background Indianapolis received the first wave of Karen arrivals in 2005. Many more have been resettled since. There are now over 300 families living in the Southside, Northside and the Speedway area. The Karen’s persecution started after WWII when after fighting the Japanese, the occupying British government denied them autonomy which was promised to them. Displacement has been widespread in the Karen areas because of war and human rights abuses since the Burmese government launched offensives against the ethnic minorities in the 70’s. Villagers have not only fled immediately after the Burmese attacks but they also had to leave their houses because of forcible relocation, forced labor, arbitrary taxation and other human rights violations. Objectives of the Farm Project To provide the Karen community in Indianapolis land(s) where they can farm/garden. We believe that their resettlement in the city would be less alienating and less traumatic if they can continue to farm. To allow the Karen to continue to practice their farming tradition while navigating the new systems in a new environment. To provide the Karen an opportunity to market their produce that reflects their history and their culture. Cont’d To provide the Karen an opportunity to market their produce that reflects their history and their culture. To contribute to the slow food movement where local consumers would be made aware where their food comes from. This is also an opportunity for local farmers, other food growers and consumers to learn Refugees must receive the most favourable and appreciate other vegetables and treatment provided to nationals of a foreign other farming methods. country with regard to the following rights: . The right to belong to trade unions. . The right to belong to other non-political nonprofit organisations. . The right to engage in wage-earning employment -1951 Refugee Convention Cont’d..objectives To contribute to the slow food movement where local consumers would be made aware where their food comes from. This is also an opportunity for local farmers, other food growers and consumers to learn and appreciate other vegetables and other farming methods. To assist the Karen to generate income from farming until this project becomes a sustainable source of their livelihood. Please contact: Refugee Resource and Research Institute 2012 Beach Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46240 (317) 332-2658 Waterman Farm Market 7010 E. Raymond St. Indianapolis IN 46239 Phone: 317-357-2989 Acknowledgement Refugee Resource would like to thank: 1. Waterman Family, Bruce and Carol, Lisa and Zeus and their staff for giving the Karen an opportunity and allowing them to get reconnected to their agrarian background. 2. The Central Indiana Taxi Operators Association for providing transportation to the Karen refugees. 3. Green Tree Apartment Management for allowing the Karen to put up a farmers’ market in the apartment complex. 4. Stevi Holtz of the Indianapolis City Market for giving them a place at the City Market to sell their produce 5. David Wu of the Mayor’s Office for connecting the project to other organizations and to the City Market 6. The local community for welcoming all refugees 7. USDA for a very generous grant through their Farmers Marketing Promotion Program.