In many countries, a peaceful life is anything but commonplace. Our member churches too are repeatedly affected by violence. We act as an opposing force with projects for peace and with victim advocacy.
Whether in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Sri Lanka, in Indonesia or in the Philippines, violent conflicts and wars are sadly the order of the day in many countries of the world. And often our member churches are directly affected by this violence.
That’s why we support local human rights and peacekeeping projects such as humanitarian aid for the victims of civil wars and expulsions, aid for political prisoners, and help for other victims of grave human rights violations. But we also aim to raise awareness about human rights violations at home in Germany. We therefore publish information brochures and books on the issue, organize seminars, and initiate public relations campaigns to focus attention on certain topics.
One example is the “Action for Human Rights”, in which we focus on a new human rights issue each year. For this campaign, every year on December 10 – International Human Rights Day – we distribute a poster on human rights, an information brochure about projects supported by the UEM, resources for sermons, and general information on the issue.
In some regions, the human rights situation is particularly difficult. We have set up networks in two of these regions, together with partners in Germany: the West Papua Network and the Ecumenical Network Central Africa.
These networks bring our concerns of our partners in the Southern Hemisphere to the attention of the German Federal Government, the German Bundestag (Parliament), and representatives of the European Union. These issues are then discussed in sessions such as the political talks and events organized by Forum Menschenrechte – a network of German nongovernmental organisations committed to the worldwide recognition of human rights. Together with other ecumenical partners, we also advocate within the United Nations system for our Southern partners at the annual meetings of the UN Human Rights Commission and enable the participation of representatives from UEM member churches in the commission.