AU Watch

What We Do

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Our mission is to protect and advance the rights of refugees, asylum-seekers migrants, IDPs and stateless African and other forcibly displaced persons in Africa. Our work covers the full circle of displacement from zones of conflict, to the dangerous routes and arrival even to the shores of Europe, to long-term inclusion in European societies, with their activities including humanitarian relief, social service provision, legal assistance, litigation, monitoring policy and law, advocacy and campaigning.

We inform, support and work with the AUC, African Commission’s Special Rapporteur for refugees, and other like-minded CSOs, through joint events, litigation, advocacy and campaigns to bring attention to the plight of refugees in Africa.

So, these are some of our actions for a refugee free Africa.

AU Watch’s approach to migrants, stateless people, refugees and people seeking asylum needs to improve. Laws, policy and government guidance are often unsympathetic to them, complicated and unfair. This causes needless suffering to people who are often vulnerable and traumatised. It needs to change. As an organisation that provides specialist help and advice to refugees and people seeking asylum, we have an in-depth understanding of their needs and challenges they face. This makes us well-placed to advise on what a fair and effective system should be. We stand up for the rights of refugees and people seeking asylum – exploring the issues that affect them, informing the public, and working for fairer government policy.

Advocacy

Campaigning & Awareness

To create large-scale change, we galvanise public support for refugees through timely and effective campaigns. As well as campaigning on specific issues – such as making AU Members States change nationality laws – we help to increase knowledge and understanding and reduce confusion about refugees and migrants. Working closely with gthe media, we set the record straight, offering insight, facts and analysis at key moments.

Our research explores emerging issues for refugees and provide evidence for change. Using insight from those who access our services, it reveals where support and policy can be strengthened. We work with decision-makers to create and influence policy. We share the insights from our research which is based on the work of our services with the AU and its Members. The aim is to shape policies that make refugees’ lives more bearable. Working with other like-minded organisations and groups, politicians, the media and of course, refugees themselves is central to this process.

We Stand by Refugees, Always

Promoting Refugee Protection

We work with the AU and its Members, likeminded CSOs to improve laws and national systems so that people forced to flee can safely find help. To supervise the implementation of international refugee and statelessness law, AU Watch monitors law, policy and practices throughout the region, holding both the AU and its Members accountable to the standards they have set for themselves. Capacity building and training activities for civil society are also used to improve the lives of refugees or those forced to leave their homes. .

The war on children is the tragedy of our time. Children are more at risk from conflict than at any time in the past 20 years. Education is every child’s brightest hope of a better future, yet in Africa around 90 million children of primary school age cannot read or write, whether they attend school or not. Many of the world’s most disadvantaged children – those living in poverty or caught up in humanitarian crises – are being denied the chance to learn at all. We protect, educate and stand up for the rights of displaced children. We support children to learn, grow and become who they want to be.

 

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Defending Child Rights

Events

AU Watch events bring together Africa’s most influential thinkers, activists and regional voices to discuss the critical issues of our time, including forced migration and statelessness issues.

AU Watch carries out multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research on the causes and consequences of forced migration, with an emphasis on understanding the experiences of forced migration from the point of view of affected peoples. Our research and analysis cover the most critical regional issues around large-scale migration, statelessness and livelihoods. Our interdisciplinary analysis seeks to advance gender justice across Africa and challenges established thinking on how to manage migration and protect people affected by displacement.

Research & Evaluation

Courses, Webinars and Conferences

Here you will find knowledge and facts about refugees, family reunified and asylum seekers and how the AU and how the African Commission are addressing large-scale movements. With us you can get knowledge, inspiration and tools. And you can get free advice or order a presentation.

We are developing courses, webinars and conferences that provide new knowledge and tools for people who work with refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and stateless people. Some of the courses we are developing are for primary schools and colleges. We are of the view that if Africa is to address the almost permanent circle of conflicts and its attendant refugee flows.

Oh yes, we go to court. AU Watch’s legal support and strategic litigation aims to support asylum seekers and refugees to access their rights through the courts and to effect deeper legal changes at the regional and national levels through litigation. Our Legal support involves providing advice, training and networking opportunities for organisations working on migration issues. We also provide direct support to individuals in conflict with the system that keeps them as refugees. AU Watch assist to provide analysis on jurisprudence, interpretation and argumentation on migration matters.

Our Strategic litigation involves identifying and supporting legal cases which have the potential to generate significant legal changes within the African Human Rights System. Our litigation focusses on the denial of citizenship to Africans, detention, and the general rights of refugees.

 We Litigate