TWIN CITIES (Sept. 20, 2012) — The Advocates for Human Rights has launched a new online survey to learn more about people who belong to diaspora communities and the human rights issues they care about.
“Diaspora communities are increasingly engaged in their countries of origin and ancestry,” observes The Advocates’ Staff Attorney Amy Bergquist. “Over the past several years, Iraqis and Afghanis in the diaspora have returned home to rebuild their countries; this summer Somalis in the diaspora drafted that country’s new constitution; and next year the Kenyan diaspora will even be eligible to vote in Kenya’s presidential elections.”
The Diaspora Community Survey is open to all diaspora individuals and organizations, regardless of how connected they feel to their country of origin or ancestry. The survey asks members of diaspora communities: What human rights issues interest you? How do you get information about them? What organizations in your country of origin are engaging these issues? How do you get involved, and what more would you like to do?
This survey is part of a larger initiative by The Advocates to create human rights tools for diaspora communities. The tools will help support diaspora groups and individuals as they engage in advocacy on human rights issues people face in their countries of origin.
“Diaspora advocacy has become at once more immediate and more abundant in the era of electronic communications . . . resulting in a multiplication of the organizational potential of groups and even individuals,” notes diaspora expert Kathleen Newland. The Advocates is committed to helping diaspora members leverage that potential, using survey responses to tailor human rights tools to the interests and needs of various diaspora populations.
Examples of human rights tools include: how-to guides for lobbying the United Nations, guidelines for writing effective press releases and staging successful press conferences, and strategies for conducting social media campaigns to attract and maintain supporters.
The Advocates’ Diaspora Community Survey is available online at http://bit.ly/OC3eoM or http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/diaspora_community_survey.html.