The purpose of this statement is to set out The Advocacy Initiative's understanding of social justice advocacy. This understanding will inform the development of the Initiative over its three-year programme. This statement aims to inform the conversations, debates and reflections organised by the Initiative, and to be influenced by them. This statement will be a living document, interrogated and tested by all of those involved in the activities of the Initiative.

Values and principles of social justice

Those involved in The Advocacy Initiative are committed to addressing the causes and consequences of inequality, poverty, social exclusion and discrimination. Our aim is to work constantly to build a society that is founded on the principles of justice, equality, human rights, human dignity, and social inclusion.

Promoting these values and principles is at the core of social justice advocacy.

Social Justice Advocacy

We understand social justice advocacy to be planned, organised and sustained actions undertaken by Community and Voluntary sector organisations, the purpose of which is to influence public policy outcomes, with and/or on behalf of the communities they work with.

Social justice advocacy is informed by experiences of poverty and exclusion, including through:

  1. Providing individual/personal advocacy supports aimed at realising rights and entitlements;
  2. Delivering direct services and meeting social and economic needs;
  3. Empowering and involving of those experiencing the issues in the decisions that impact their lives; and
  4. Producing research and analysis that illustrates the realities of poverty and social exclusion.

The scope of social justice advocacy includes any action, compatible with the values and principles, aimed at promoting or resisting legislative or policy change. It is targeted at a broad range of stakeholders including: policy-makers; civil and public servants; social partners; broader public opinion; and other relevant actors.

While independent of formal political institutions, social justice advocacy is a product and tool of democratic legitimacy. It is grounded in the premise that social change occurs through political systems and the state can be motivated to act in ways that realise greater equality and inclusion.

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