EMBRACE Advocacy Policy

September 2021


Our vision is to promote a positive response to minority ethnic people in Northern Ireland. We seek to equip the church to fulfil its call to welcome the stranger, by providing information, training, resource materials and channels for practical help.

EMBRACE seeks to:

  • Reflect gospel values of compassion, hospitality and justice
  • Raise awareness and provide information, resources and training
  • Respond to those in need by acting as a channel for voluntary assistance
  • Support people by human rights and welfare advocacy
  • Network with relevant agencies and groups
  • Make informed responses on issues of public policy

EMBRACE Advocacy Statement

EMBRACE seeks to stand alongside minority ethnic people, immigrants and those seeking asylum in matters of human rights; this may involve anti-racism training and taking part in events which raise awareness of issues relating to the welfare and rights of immigrant people. It may also mean communicating their situation and needs, and highlighting concerns in areas such as housing, education, language support, health and detention to the appropriate decision makers in local and national government. The advocacy work of Embrace should run with the grain of the teachings of the Christian Church when it comes to human dignity, justice and mercy


The policy is to be implemented through the following values:

  • Commitment to fundamental faith principles
  • Commitment to inter-church/cross-community working and understanding
  • Working alongside partner organisations, not in isolation
  • Working with people, not on behalf of people


There are some general factors which affect the way we can implement the advocacy policy. These are:

  • Limitations of capacity
  • Limitations of resources
  • Conditions of agreement by Committee members

What do we do?

EMBRACE undertakes the following advocacy activities:

  • Provision of information to churches, partner organisations and the general public.
  • Publications
  • Direct support to those in need
  • Responses to public consultations
  • Signing of petitions and lobbying letters
  • Support to other organisations in their lobbying activities
  • Lobbying on specific issues
  • Public statements on key issues

Policy Positions

As a charity we cannot and do not align with any particular political party. We recognise the sensitives and complexities around immigration policy. Different people and indeed Christians will arrive at different beliefs about the best political solutions for those most affected. Our deepest concern is for the wellbeing and welfare, safety and flourishing, welcome and embrace of those who find themselves here from other countries for many different reasons.

EMBRACE upholds the following positions regarding refugees and people seeking asylum:

  • We expect people to be treated with dignity, respect and humanity
  • We expect people to be supported by listening and responding to their needs, financial support, legal protection, health provision, integration into the local community and the promotion of general wellbeing
  • We stand firmly against racism, xenophobia and prejudice of any kind

EMBRACE will issue specific policy positions on topical matters that arise.


For whom do we advocate?

EMBRACE works to support:

  • Refugees
  • People seeking asylum
  • Migrant workers and their families
  • Minority ethnic or immigrant groups in Northern Ireland
  • Indigenous minority ethnic groups
  • Unaccompanied minors

With whom do we advocate?

EMBRACE works with a range of organisations with common goals, including:

  • Churches associated with EMBRACE
  • Other churches
  • Asylum/Refugee support groups (e.g. Refugee Action Group, NICRAS)
  • Minority ethnic support groups (e.g. South Belfast Round Table, Ballymena Minority Ethnic Forum)
  • Minority ethnic community groups (e.g. Chinese Welfare Association, HAPANI)
  • Other rights/equality groups whose work includes minority ethnic identities (e.g. Equality Coalition, Law Centre)

To whom do we advocate?

EMBRACE works to influence those who are in a position to help those we support, including:

  • Churches associated with EMBRACE
  • Other churches
  • Decision-makers in Government Departments
  • Political decision-makers