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UPROOTED PEOPLE newsletter - an index of back issues available on the web International Affairs, Peace & Human Security
work with Uprooted People
The member churches of the WCC and related ecumenical organizations have responded to the needs of uprooted people for over 50 years. Until 1999, the work was coordinated by the WCC Refugee and Migration Service. In January 1999 this work was transferred to the International Affairs, Peace & Human Security team, which brings together the work of The Churches' Commission on International Affairs and the Refugee and Migration Service.

The Council's service to uprooted people is based on the work of local member churches and the Council's ecumenical constituency. It provides an ethics-based global perspective for concerns related to refugees, internally displaced people and international migrants. The programme directions are set by WCC member churches, regional working groups and the Global Ecumenical Network on Uprooted People. The response to the WCC Central Committee's invitation to member churches to mark 1997 Ecumenical Year of Churches in Solidarity with Uprooted People provided a prime example of the broad-based participation of churches around the world.

Since its founding as the Refugee Service in 1946 (preceding formation of the WCC), the programme has been an initiator, a catalyst and a facilitator. It has four main objectives:

Refugee-family from Sierra Leone, in a Ministry of Health Center for Internally Displaced Persons. Liberia 1996
The main priority of the programme is to empower the churches to engage in solidarity, advocacy and ministry to and with uprooted people. Capacity-building binds and underpins all activities. During the past half century, the service has evolved a specialized role in advancing both church and civil society responses to the causes and consequences of the forced displacement of people globally.

The programme works actively with counterpart international Christian organizations and related international civil society organizations. It has developed a critical partnership with the main international organizations addressing refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Office (ILO), and the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA).

The WCC has developed a particular credibility in its advocacy and action because its work is based in and on a direct relationship with an engaged, local, national, regional and global constituency. Staff in the programme have specialized knowledge and experience on issues, policy and programmatic services related to refugees, internally displaced people and migrants.

The International Affairs, Peace & Human Security team's inter-related work programme on uprooted people comprises five areas:

Within WCC's International Affairs, Peace & Human Security Team, two programme staff members have particular responsibility for work with uprooted people: Melaku Kifle and Elizabeth Ferris, with the administrative assistance of Beth Godfrey. Other International Affairs, Peace & Human Security staff liaise with working groups on uprooted people in different regions.

Important publications

UPROOTED PEOPLE newsletter - Issue 20, October 2002

UPROOTED PEOPLE newsletter - Issue 19, May 2002

UPROOTED PEOPLE an index of back issues available on the web

"The Church of the Stranger: Risking to be with Uprooted People" - WCC speech at the Fourth World Congress on Migration, Vatican, 5-10 October 1998

A moment to choose: Statement on Uprooted People issued by the WCC Central Committee in 1995

A moment to choose: Statement on Uprooted People (resource book)

Global Campaign brochure

Important organizations

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Information on treaties, debates on human rights, particularly about migrants and internally displaced persons.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Includes a special page on the human rights of migrants.

December 18 - human rights of migrant worker
Online Network for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, USA
Information on refugees' and migrants' situation in the USA. Includes a page on the UN Convention.

US Committee for Refugees
Publishes annual World Refugee Survey and regular issues papers on situations affecting refugees and internally displaced persons.

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