So Many Causes need to be advocated. They range from legal and political issues to environment, women empowerment, child abuse, human rights, social welfare, and economic development and so on.

So Many People long to make their voice heard in various areas and would wish to take an active part in a local or global recovery process. These are doctors, lawyers, psychologists, students, business people, craftspeople, artists, officials etc…They daily witness injustice, oppression, exploitation, discrimination, unequal opportunities and so on. But they all have in common the unshakable Faith that a better world is definitely possible if everyone embraces the idea of Change and if we all unite and co-operate to achieve that change.


In October 2007, OCHA successfully advocated with the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations to expand a planned Arria Formula meeting on women in situations of armed conflict in Africa. Chaired by France’s Human Rights Minister Rama Yade, the meeting highlighted the testimonies of former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner Mary Robinson and Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) Bineta Diop, following their visit to the Chad and Darfur. It also included the potent and compelling accounts of Eve Ensler, who had recently returned from DRC.

Robust advocacy around SGBV also came from UN Action and its partners, in particular Peace Women, Oxfam and International Rescue Committee, and from former Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, and Yakin Eturk, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Its Causes and Consequences.

Criticism directed at the Security Council noted that although the Council had recognized that sexual violence continues to manifest itself throughout many conflicts, little had been done to address it as a threat to peace and security, even in post-conflict situations.

Joining Forces

Recently there have been a number of relevant initiatives within the UN. These include Security Council and Arria Formula meetings on Women, Peace and Security, and the 40th session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), where in February 2008 the Secretary-General launched his UNite Campaign to End Violence against Women. The Campaign, which OCHA is supporting, calls on Governments, civil society, the private sector, the media and the entire UN System to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.

On 27 May 2008, ERC John Holmes addressed the issue of sexual violence in his speech to the Security Council on the Protection of Civilians, reiterating his call for improved reporting on sexual violence, and highlighting the need to improve the administration of justice for these crimes. Under-Secretary-General Holmes also underlined the importance of the Secretary-General’s recommendation for targeted sanctions in response to sexual violence.

That same day, a conference in the United Kingdom, sponsored jointly by UNIFEM and DPKO, examined the role of military peacekeepers in providing protection to women in conflict situations. The conference, which OCHA also participated in, laid the groundwork for a UK-hosted Arria Formula meeting held in June on the same topic, bringing many of the issues addressed and conclusions formulated at the previous meeting to the attention of Security Council members, and setting the stage for a planned debate on 19 June 2008 on Women, Peace, and Security.

No Amnesty

The 19 June debate on the issue of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict was convened by the United States in their capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of June, and chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  Following the debate, the Security Council passed Resolution 1820, a groundbreaking resolution that rejected the notion that those who perpetrate sexual violence could in any way benefit from amnesty after conflicts die down, and called on warring factions to ensure that civilians are protected from sexual violence.

Most importantly, the Security Council acknowledged through this resolution that sexual violence is not only about individuals – it also impacts seriously on the security and stability of countries and therefore is well within the rubric of matters to be addressed by the Security Council itself, including through sanctions or a more robust response.


Sexual assault advocacy programs are a critical part of any community response. As is the case in responding to victims of domestic violence, it is critical that advocates responding to victims of sexual assault in a non-judgmental and supportive manner, suggesting options but allowing the victim to decide what course of action to take.

The first rape crisis centers emerged in the United States in the 1970s. Many of the early centers were run by volunteers with no counseling or other professional health services background, out of their own homes. Early centers were non-hierarchal and often had political agendas. During the mid to late 1970s, many centers began to “professionalize”—to hire professionally certified staff, incorporate hierarchal governance structures, adopt apolitical agendas. In part, this process was due to increased reliance on government sources of funding and a corresponding increase in affiliations with larger community organizations, hospitals, or prosecutor’s offices. At the time of a study done in the mid-1980s, researchers found that centers could be classified as one of four types: some had remained feminist collectives, while others were more “mainstream” and “traditional in structure,” embedded within a social service of mental health agency, or based out of hospital emergency rooms. Rape crisis centers also exist throughout Europe and are coordinated by the Rape Crisis Network Europe.

Rape crisis counselors work directly with victims, explaining their rights and what they can expect from the medical and legal systems. They help victim gain medical care, provide emotional support, and connect victims to other services, and maintain the victim’s confidentiality.

In an immediate crisis situation, advocates encourage victims to seek medical attention—the victim may have injuries that need treatment; in addition, it is important that forensic evidence be collected as soon as possible after the incident—ideally within 72 hours after the assault. As explained in the Arizona’s Guidelines for a Coordinated Community Response, the role of the advocate in responding to a crisis situation is to evaluate the safety of the victim and address urgent medical needs. After that, advocates should not assume they know what victims want, but should ask victims to identify their primary concern. Advocates can also help victims develop a plan of action, provide the victim with information, options and referrals, and reassure the victim that what happened to her is not her fault. Advocates should also continue to follow-up with victims, to make sure they are aware of all resources available to them, and to see if they have any questions about the legal system or other services.

The immediate assistance and support of a rape crisis advocate can be critical. A recent study indicates that the speed with which survivors of sexual assault receive services is linked to the speed of their recovery. In following the recovery process of thirty rape survivors who received levels different medical and counseling services, Robert Cleary found that rape survivors who received prompt medical and counseling services were much more likely to seek continued medical care, were least likely to blame themselves for the assault, experienced fewer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, had less difficulty trusting others, and were more likely to successfully return to work. From Study Finds Rape Crisis Programs Do Work, Violence Against Women.

Working with the advocate beyond the immediate crisis situation, victims can be instrumental in supporting the victim through a legal process, should the victim decide that seeking relief though the criminal or civil justice systems is the best option for her. Advocates can accompany victims to court, provide the victim with information about the legal process and what they can expect, serve as a liaison between the victim and the prosecutor, and, should the victim not want to be present in court, inform victims about the progress of a trial. Where perpetrators have been arrested, advocates can work with victims to evaluate their safety needs, and, where appropriate, develop safety plans.

In addition, “throughout all aspects of their work, rape victim advocates are trying to prevent ‘the second rape’—insensitive, victim-blaming treatment from community system personnel. . . . The job of rape victim advocates, therefore, is not only to provide direct services to survivors but also to prevent secondary victimization.” Secondary victimization is defined as “negative treatment that mirrors and exacerbates the trauma of the rape.” As is explained in more detail in the sections on coordinated responses and legal processes, both the medical and legal systems have historically been sites for the revitalization of the sexual assault survivor—whether this revitalization is accomplished through long waits to see a physician or intense cross-examination about the victim’s prior sexual history. 


According to a study carried out by Transparency International with a sample of 146 countries worldwide, Kenya is ranked in 17th position. Out of a clean score of 10, Kenya scores only 2.1, not very far from Haiti which is the most corrupt country in the sample at 1.5 and Nigeria which Africa ‘s most corrupt nation at 1.6.

The church intends to fight against corruption as a way of reducing the amount of poverty in the country. The church has a biblical mandate to criticize those who enrich themselves unjustly and create suffering in the communities.

Corruption in Kenya cuts across all sectors of development thus creating an unjust society in which addressing other pressing social issues is made difficult including HIV/AIDS, Environment, Agriculture, Gender and generally all other issues on Advocacy.

Since one of the best ways of reducing poverty in the country is addressing the issue of corruption, the church will engage in the war against corruption at all levels by creating awareness and advocacy.

The church will not only address the issue of corruption at the national level only but also at the local and family level by facilitating the formation of local initiatives to find solutions to corruption. This is due to the realization that corruption among the leadership of this nation is a just a reflection of the entire society. DOSS will therefore address the society as a whole and not just the leaders.

Previously, the church through its department of Justice and Peace has created awareness on corruption through drama. In the project, the department facilitated the formation of drama groups in each RCCS that visited all the dioceses within their respective regions creating awareness. With the re-conceptualization of the JPC and its inclusion in DOSS, the war on corruption through awareness in the church will be enhanced and expanded.

In the current government system, a lot of resources have been channeled through the Constituency Development Funds (CDF), Local Authorities Transfer Funds, Bursary funds, funding for HIV/AIDS, Infrastructure etc. the church will monitor the expenditure on the funds and serve as a public watchdog.

The church will also use their magazines, periodicals, monographs and e-newsletters to sensitize its target readers and the church on the issue of corruption.

 Community development and advocacy

The community development specializing in social justice issues as diverse as, services for older people and people with a disability, Affordable Housing, Youth, Aboriginal Communities, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities, Children and Families, Crime Prevention, Health, Transport and Community Facilities.

It works on identifying the needs and quality of life concerns of older people, people with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, children and families, ATSI and youth with the aim of improving social well being of the community. The Treelands Drive Community Centre in Yamba and the Grafton Community and Function Centre staff also perform an important part of the Unit’s work with local communities.

The Community Development Team also works with other agencies to advocate for and implement strategies to improve health facilities, affordable housing, public transport, community information, crime prevention and community facilities. Community Development and Social Planning work in a coordinated and collaborative way with various communities and agencies to compile research, funding submissions and to develop new or improved services and facilities.


  1. Discuss the following emerging trends in advocacy and lobbying;

gender based violence

sexual offences

corruption issues

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