During the last 15 years, European Caritas organisations have coordinated advocacy efforts towards the national governments and the European institutions on several issues affecting the most vulnerable.
These efforts have not been in vain. It is time to share those achievements, to acknowledge in a simple way what we understand by advocacy and how we implement it.
People in need are the starting point of all Caritas Europa’s actions with the intention to contribute to a more just and cohesive society and tackle the “globalisation of indifference” prevailing in society today. Advocacy is an organised attempt to influence policy, practice and/or attitudes. At the heart of advocacy is the assumption that change can happen.
It is no surprise that within Christian charity the claim for justice has a long tradition. Due to lack of, or insufficient, political will to address the social challenges. The dimension of the “political path of charity”, has grown in importance in Caritas over the last years. We “cannot remain on the side lines in the fight for justice”; hence we are called to show concern for and lend its efforts to building a better world.
For all these reasons, we present our new Advocacy Handbook as an invitation to continue discussing and improving our effort to “lend our voice to the causes of the poor” and to provide an initial answer as to why Caritas does advocacy.