Transforming Passion into Action through Advocacy
Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy out of a deep concern for persons who are poor. Through our many ministries as Sisters of Mercy we see on a daily basis how people suffer due to poverty, inequality, unjust treatment, discrimination, violence and exclusion. Whilst most of our sisters work directly to help people in need, demonstrating that a better world is possible, we also try to analyse the dimension and the structural causes of these situations of need, poverty and exclusion in order to work toward creating a more just and inclusive world. We want to influence these structural aspects and related causes in order to achieve positive outcomes for those affected. This is advocacy.
Advocacy, the claim for justice for the poor and excluded, is the natural consequence and an intrinsic dimension of Gospel action, which is based on the two pillars of the Christian virtues of charity and justice.
Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organisation undertakes including lobbying, media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research, protests and mass demonstrations, petitions, letter writing etc. In the current political system in the UK it also involves responding to government consultations regarding potential areas of legislative change and/or attempting to influence the actual proposed legislation as it wends its way through the various stages of readings and committees within both the Houses of Commons and Lords.
We collaborate with likeminded organisations and networks to coordinate advocacy efforts towards the UK Government, the European institutions and the United Nations particularly on such issues as poverty, social exclusion, violence against women (specifically trafficking and prostitution), migration and asylum, climate change and the environment.
We connect our efforts on a global scale with Sisters of Mercy congregations throughout the world through Mercy International Association and Mercy Global Action at the United Nations.
The authoritative basis of our advocacy remains rooted in our daily and direct closeness and work with people who suffer from poverty, discrimination and exclusion.