The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
Partner Perspective: Understanding the Work of UUSC Partners Across the Globe
By Deanna Johnson on November 7, 2023
UUSC is proud of our partners’ global work to advance human rights and social justice through actively dismantling systems of oppression. Not only does UUSC support its partners through network building, convening, research, advocacy, justice education, and communications skill sharing within the human rights field, the organization also contributes financially to partner organizations to support staff salaries, operational costs, and more. Here is a brief look at some of the work UUSC partners are currently engaged in—and their accomplishments over the last year.
A Note on How Our Work Intersects
At UUSC we recognize that oppressive systems are just that—systems. Therefore, breeches on human rights and social justice do not occur in vacuums. Genocide, structural violence, discrimination, and more work in tandem with one another leading to displacement and climate injustice which require international accountability to solve. We are grateful for the extraordinary intersectional work done by our partners and look forward to continuing to build towards a socially just world.
UUSC partners work in Asia, Europe, and the Americas to support people in situations of migration to travel, care for themselves, and integrate into their new communities. For example, in Burma—also known as Myanmar—organizations like Coordination Team for Emergency Relief (CTER) support individuals who have been forcibly removed from their homes and who are either living in new communities or internally displaced person (IDP) camps. Support includes educational materials, counseling services, food and medical support, and more.
In Europe, UUSC partners with organizations like the Foundation Towards Dialogue, Alliance for Black Justice Poland, Stowarzyszenie Mudita, and Nomada, who each address the needs of people in migration who have had to leave their homes in Ukraine due to the military occupation. These organizations help people in migration by providing legal, medical, and shelter support, as well as raising awareness around anti-Black and anti-Roma racism in Poland.
UUSC also partners with organizations in Central and North America like the Foundation of Justice and Democratic State (FJEDD for its Spanish acronym), Foundation for the Austin Sanctuary Network, Tochan Sueños y Realidades, and the Scalabrinian Mission with Migrants and Refugees. These organizations provide shelter, psychosocial, legal, and economic support to people in migration throughout the continents.
International Justice and Accountability
In addition to migration justice and support, UUSC partners contribute to international efforts for the expansion of justice and accountability. This means that partners work together to advocate for themselves and their communities on the international stage. For example, in Burma, UUSC partners with the Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN) and the United States Campaign for Burma (USCB), who engage in participatory research on advocacy and democracy in Burma, lead workshops and trainings to build the capacity of activists, and guide awareness raising efforts for racially and ethnically marginalized groups. UUSC’s partner RegenerAkcja (Regeneraction) provides training and support for volunteers supporting Ukrainian war refugees on the Polish-Belarusian border. Additionally, Youth Agency for the Advocacy of Roma Culture (ARCA for its Ukrainian acronym) works to advocate for and develop programming integrating Roma people into Ukrainian communities and reducing anti-Roma discrimination.
Climate and Disaster Justice
UUSC’s third axis of action is in climate and disaster justice. Partners in the Americas and the Pacific exemplify the values of UUSC by leading critical discussion and advocacy around global crises and responding to the immediate needs of community members. In Haiti, for example, the Platform for Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POHDOH for its French acronym) unites seven different human rights groups in the country to mobilize efforts that advocate on behalf of all Haitians. Advocacy includes educating and organizing people from around the country on issues of activism, denouncing acts of violence and human rights violations, and addressing the effects of climate change on the country. Additionally, Pacific Climate Warriors and the Tuvalu Climate Action Network bring together members of the Pacific Island communities to promote their rights and bring awareness to the detrimental effects of climate change at the regional and international scale.
UUSC will continue working closely with its partners around the world to advance social justice and dismantle global systems of oppression.
Image Credit: UUSC, Foundation Towards Dialogue, The Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations, Mudita, Karen Peace Support Network