Minority Rights Group (MRG) conducts advocacy in a variety of settings, whether at the national, regional or international levels.
What is advocacy?
Advocacy is the act of influencing decisions taken by people in authority. In the case of MRG, this is to ensure that decisions that affect minority and indigenous communities comply with international standards.
Advocacy can be done in informal meetings in the corridors of national parliaments or international institutions. It can also occur in more formal processes, such as through participation in meetings and consultations. Advocacy can take other forms, such as via written statements, longer submissions and petitions.
How do we work?
Our primary focus is on providing support for the advocacy efforts of minority and indigenous community representatives. MRG seeks to ensure that their voices are heard in contexts where decisions are taken that affect their communities. Most of our international advocacy takes place at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the European institutions and the United Nations (UN).
A 7-week online course called ‘Minority Rights Advocacy Toolkit’ was designed to facilitate an understanding of minority rights concepts and how to apply minority rights mechanism to protect the rights of persons belonging to minorities. Learn more about the course >
We provide advice and coaching on how to navigate the structures of regional and international institutions. We assist with registration and provide other logistical support. We can sometimes provide funding for attendance as well as small grants to fund the research and writing of submissions to regional and UN human rights mechanisms. We organise training events for minority and indigenous activists to prepare them for their attendance at the UN. We also arrange side-events to provide platforms for our minority and indigenous partners. A particular focus of our work is to ensure as inclusive representation as possible, with participation by minority and indigenous women, LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities and youth being a priority.
MRG conducts its own advocacy by advising governments and international agencies on international minority and indigenous peoples’ rights standards. We work closely with other human rights NGOs, often in broad coalitions. As can be seen below, we regularly make oral and written statements at the ACHPR and the UN Human Rights Council, commenting on countries and urgent issues related to minority and indigenous peoples’ rights.
A key characteristic of our advocacy is that it is nearly always conducted along with other activities. For instance, if we are pursuing litigation on behalf of a minority or indigenous community, we will also support its representatives in their advocacy as well as conduct our own, publish related reports as well as seek to draw the attention of media to the issues confronting that community. All this is done in close consultation with our minority and indigenous partner organizations. The activities are selected only if they are appropriate, depending for instance on the security implications for our partners.
Does our advocacy make a difference?
Every year, we look back on all our advocacy efforts to measure impact. We can do this by reviewing the legislation, resolutions, policies and reports that we have sought to influence. We record positive changes in the texts that match the recommendations that our partners and we have made. And yes, we do make a difference. We regularly identify many instances where the language we have suggested has been included influential documents. We can also track when governments and international institutions have expressed their concern following our alerts.
Latest advocacy news
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- MRG calls on member-states to address the intersectional human rights impacts of climate change as part of their work to ensure inclusive mitigation
- Addressing Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccination Access for Ethnic, Religious, and Linguistic Minorities: A Call to Action for the UN High Commissioner
- MRG urges the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief to address violations of the economic and social rights of religious minorities
- Review of the 7th Periodic Report of Tunisia
- MRG’s recommendations to the UN Forum on Minority Issues
- MRG concerned about the situation of black and other marginalized people with disabilities in Brazil
- Brazil: MRG denounces the situation faced by black and other marginalized persons with disabilities
- MRG urges the African Union to put in place positive measures to ensure that no one is left behind
- UN Human Rights Council must hold a special session on Iran
- MRG calls for accountability for human rights violations in Somalia
- EVENT: Statelessness, watercolours & ink – Zahra Marwan – An MRG Sofa Talk
- How much is the UN system upholding the UNDM?
- EVENT: Award Ceremony to Celebrate Minority Artists Working on Statelessness
- EVENT: Securing justice for violations against religious minorities in India
- EVENT: Minorities and Indigenous Peoples in North Africa: Progress and challenges in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia
- EVENEMENT: Minorités et Peuples Autochtones en Afrique du Nord: progrès et défis en Algérie, Maroc et Tunisie
- Humanity’s Last Chance Saloon: Indigenous traditional knowledge & custodianship
- La situation des minorités et autres groupes minorisés en Tunisie, entre discrimination et reconnaissance
- Minorities and minoritized groups in Tunisia, between discrimination and recognition of diversity
- وضع الأقليات والمجموعات المهمشة في تونس : بين التمييز ضدهم.ن والاعتراف بهم.ن
- EXPLAINER: Why are minorities gathering in Geneva this week?
- One step closer: indigenous peoples’ rights in the DRC
- ‘The EU as a Global Actor in Climate Action’, Joshua Castellino | TEPSA Explainers
- Side-event at the UN Human Rights Council sheds light on hate speech in South Asia
- Reporting back from the UN Human Rights Council
- UPDATE: One step forward for the Ogiek as Kenyan court issues conservatory orders, stopping government’s titling process in Eastern Mau
- Discussing Education and Minority Languages at the UN Forum on Minority Issues in Geneva
- There’s an epidemic of mass distraction, it’s time to focus on issues that matter – MRG’s message on Human Rights Day
- Who Belongs Where in Northeast India, and Who Should Decide?
- A reflection of Israel’s stance on African asylum seekers and migrants
- MRG and its partners welcome the Human Rights Committee’s recommendations against Mauritania
- Call for local advocacy projects: promoting accountability and inclusive citizenship of religious minorities across South Asia
- MRG Executive Director Leads New Online Course – ‘Human Rights, Human Wrongs’
- Towards Convergence? Anti-discrimination Policies and Minorities Conference
- Indigenous Ogiek in Kenya eagerly anticipate reparations judgement
- Minority and indigenous peoples’ rights defenders urge African states to address marginalisation grievances
- Heath and education: Indigenous communities want action from the Government of Uganda ahead of upcoming UN review
- States break silence to condemn Egypt’s abuses at UN rights body
- 31 دولة تكسر حاجز الصمت وتدين انتهاكات مصر لحقوق الإنسان أمام الأمم المتحدة
- Mauritania: Authorities must stop using arbitrary arrests to crackdown on anti-slavery and anti-discrimination activists
- MRG Celebrates 50 Years of Defending Diversity
- MRG Statement at the 11th Session of the Forum on Minority Issues
- Challenges and inequalities in housing, education and health – the daily struggles of Macedonian Roma revealed
- Yezidi activist Nadia Murad wins the Nobel Peace Prize
- MRG welcomes UN resolution on fact-finding mission in Iran, but gaps remain
- Joint Letter to South Korea’s National Assembly Calling For the Immediate Passage of a Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Law
- Open letter from civil society to world leaders: Put human rights at the centre of environmental policy
- Joint Letter to demand justice for Stanislav Tomáš
- Joint statement: Civil society supports historic Genocide Amendment to UK Trade Bill
- Open Letter to UN Special-Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Wairimu Nderitu
- British actor Paterson Joseph will make an appeal for MRG
- MRG urges the UK Home Office to reverse the decision to deport Osime Brown, a Black Autistic man with learning disabilities
- Rethinking how effective political participation can ensure the best talent can address our deepest crises
- Fighting against all forms of discrimination in Tunisia (All 4 All)
- Evaluation of INGO support: Human rights advocacy activities of supported international NGOs
- Tackling Multiple Forms of Discrimination in Tunisia (Points anti-discrimination)
- Central and East Africa: Strengthening the Voice of Marginalised Minorities
- Europe: Minority Realities in the News
- Impact of Non-Governmental Organization Activities at World Conference against Racism
- Iraq and Somalia: Securing protection and promoting fundamental freedoms of vulnerable minorities
- Street Theatre
- Russian Federation: Minority and Indigenous Rights
- Middle East and North Africa: Protecting minorities and freedom of religion
- Conflict, Structural Discrimination & Minorities: Towards a roadmap for inter-agency cooperation
- Baseline study on the situation of minorities and discriminated groups in Tunisia
- Cas de discriminations collectés par les Points Anti-Discrimination et l’Observatoire pour la Défense du Droit à la Différence
- Rwanda: Final baseline study report
- Civilian Activists Under Threat in Iraq
- International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – Statelessness and human rights treaties – quick reference guide
- Guidance: Exhausting domestic remedies under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
- Minority Rights Advocacy in the EU: A guide to NGOs in Eastern Partnership Countries
- Moving towards a Right to Land: The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ Treatment of Land Rights as Human Rights
- Enforcing Mauritania’s Anti-Slavery Legislation: The Continued Failure of the Justice System to Prevent, Protect and Punish