E.g., 09/14/2014
E.g., 09/14/2014

Voice After Exit: Diaspora Advocacy

Reports
November 2010

Voice After Exit: Diaspora Advocacy

Diasporas seeking to champion causes for their countries of origin are no longer hindered by distance and isolation, as demonstrated by their influence with government, media, private sectors, and other prominent groups in both countries of origin and of settlement. Migrant communities, organizations, and individuals are increasingly vocal and influential, and while government is their primary target, they also seek to influence international organizations, the media, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and other actors.

Emigrants already exercise change when they move from their homelands, and, along with their descendants, show a commitment to continuing to have a voice when they engage in advocacy on issues concerning their country of origin or ancestry. Despite this growing voice, however, diaspora advocacy success hinges on smart policy, rooted in unity, commitment, and focus.

This report provides an overview of diaspora advocacy by looking at five issues: who participates in diaspora advocacy, who or what are the “targets” in these efforts, what means are used to advance these causes, what are the issues on which they focus, and the effectiveness of the efforts.

Table of Contents 

I. Introduction

II. Who Participates in Diaspora Advocacy? 

A. Representation and Legitimacy 

B. Motives for Engaging in Advocacy 

III. Who or What Are the Primary Targets of Diaspora Advocacy and Diplomacy?

The Importance of the Political Framework 

IV.  What Means Do Diasporas Use to Advance Their Causes?

V. What Are the Main Focuses of Diaspora Advocacy? 

A. Advocating for Overseas Voting Rights and Dual Nationality 

B. Advocating for Caste, Ethnic, and Religious Rights 

C. Advocating for Development and Disaster Relief 

D. Advocating for Commerce

VI. Conclusions and Policy Options