This unit will explore the complexities and challenges that inhabit the interface between power, violence and poverty. It will examine the theoretical framework for human rights with particular focus on biblical perspectives on the misuse and abuse of power, peacemaking and reconciliation, and the case for affirmative action with and on behalf of the vulnerable and marginalised. Special attention will be given to: lessons learned from global and national advocacy campaigns; emerging civic-driven advocacy practice; strategies for ensuring children’s rights and safety; the reduction of gender-based violence. Relevant case studies will be presented to ensure that theoretical and theological reflection is grounded in practical realities. The unit also explores the role and responsibility of Christian Non Government Development Organisations in the task of engaging the wider Christian community in the work of justice and compassion.
Questions explored at depth within this unit include: Why should advocacy with and for the poor be an integral dimension of the Church’s witness and work in the world? Why have many Non Government Development Organisations given much higher priority to advocacy in recent years, and why has this provoked controversy within the wider community? What advocacy strategies have proved more effective in achieving positive change for vulnerable communities?