IROB ADVOCACY ASSOCIATION (IAA)
WHO WE ARE
Irob Advocacy Association hereafter, IAA, is a non-for profit, non-political and non-religious autonomous organization initiated by concerned Irobs in 2018, in Meqele city, Tigray.
IAA obtained its legal status as a civil organization on July 23, 2019, per "Proclamation No.1113/2019 of Organizations of Civil Societies of Ethiopia", with the Registry Number 4304, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. IAA publicly declared its founding on November 13, 2019 in Meqele, Tigray.
IAA has been established to advocate for Irob minority ethnic group facing complex problems threatening continuity of its very existence.
Irob Advocacy Association's vision is to see an economically empowered vibrant united Irob, where all rights are fully upheld. IAA envisions Irob society fully aware of its rights, history, culture, and social values. Hence, it strives to preserve Irob’s social values and its group identity. IAA’s aspiration is to see all democratic, political, economic, and human rights are upheld in Irobland and to all Irobs, wherever they might be.
Irob Advocacy Association's mission is to empower Irob people through research and advocacy to ensure the vision is realized. IAA shall work so that safety and security of Irobs are guaranteed and shall monitor that all rights are upheld. IAA promotes the “concept of unity in diversity” in Ethiopia and peaceful co-existence with all neighboring peoples.
IAA strives for emergence and flourishing of united Irob community with strong socioeconomic and democratic foundations. Hence, IAA will work to preserve the right of Irob minority’s indivisibility which is a matter of survival as a cohesive community.
IAA uses the following four common tools of advocacy mechanisms to achieve its mission: organizing, lobbying, educating and court litigation.
WHAT WE DO
IAA's main objectives are:
Monitor, research, and evaluate the state of civil, democratic, and economic rights of Irob people and when there are serious violations, make it known to the public, the government, and the international institutions to help resolve those problems.
Support and work for the realization of civil, democratic, and economic rights of the Irob people.
Advocate for justice and equality of the Irob people and bring any violations to the attention of the relevant authorities so that any wrongdoing is addressed.
Encourage and support Irob minority to preserve and promote its language, culture, identity, heritage, history, and social values.
Conduct studies to identify and prioritize key socio economic problems Irob youth and other social groups are facing and make them known to the authorities and international community to address them.
IAA will encourage Irobs to partake in cooperative commitment to safeguard their group identity, language, and culture.
All performances of IAA shall be impartial regarding gender, religion, age group, disability, etc.
The IAA’s operational activity is federal and regional with a special focus on the Irob district. Its pursuit is world-wide as well.
All activities of IAA shall be transparent and accountable to its members and pertinent authority.
THE NEED FOR ADVOCACY
The needs prompted the formation of the Irob Advocacy Association are the overwhelming crisis that Irob is facing as a minority ethnic group. The predicaments can be listed as the deteriorating economic, social, historical, language, identity, cultural and educational quality. Severe land degradation and chronic droughts have resulted in extreme poverty and destitute livelihoods. Lack of democracy and good governance, human rights suppression, absence of basic infrastructure and public service, have worsened the already bad situation. We are also witnessing both natural and systemic assimilations taking place at an alarming rate.
To make matters worse, this already ailing community was invaded by the Eritrean armed forces in 1998 and Irobland remained under the occupation for two long years. During those years, the Eritrean army obliterated whatever was left of Irob, both economic and social capital. In short, the entire social fabric collapsed resulting in enormous socio-economic crisis, postwar trauma, and mass migration of Irob youth. The latter was aggravated by dangerous human trafficking and the absence of concerted efforts by government to mitigate it.
Another appalling outcome of this conflict was the Algiers Agreement, by Eritrea and Ethiopia signed on December 12, 2000, and consequently brought to the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC) in The Hague, The Netherlands for deliberation. This agreement, as it stands now, divides the Irob minority and its land between the two countries, and hence, an existential threat to Irob. On the other hand, neither the Irob people nor any part of their land has ever been under Eritrean administration. Besides, the UN 1992 minority rights resolution 47/135 of 18 December 1992 supports the Irob minorities claim and argument to remain undivided. Hence, IAA shall work hard and is determined to make sure all articles of this declaration are meticulously enforced when relevant. During the occupation, the Eritrean armed forces abducted over 93 Irob civilians whose whereabouts is not known up till now. IAA shall fight for the safe return of those abductees as well.
Therefore, IAA is here with a mission and vision to support Irob people uplift themselves from the yoke of those compounded problems described above, working with those responsible, able, and willing to help.
Council is the highest body of IAA composed of 15 members. The council elects executive committee from its members that shall serve until next congress. All major decisions of IAA are reviewed and approved by the council before execution.
The Powers and Duties of the Council
Approves strategic and annual plans as well as the budget of the association.
Deliberates and decides on annual performance, financial and audit reports.
Has authority to elect Executive Committee. Power of removing a member or members from the executive.
Appoints an auditor, determines the emoluments due to him/her, suspends and dismisses the auditor.
Determines where the headquarter of IAA should be and decides on the opening or closure of chapters/branches of the IAA.
Determines the amount of membership dues/contributions and amount of penalty for delays in making membership dues.
Decides on the Executive Committee's recommendation for membership or/and termination.
Approves work rules, internal guidelines, procedural manuals, and directives proposed by the Executive Committee.
Approves and amends the bylaws of the Association.
Decides on the dissolution and winding up of the IAA.
The executive Committee
The Executive committee is appointed by the Council from the council members. It is comprised of five members and runs day-to-day activities of the organization with the guidance of the council.
Functions and Responsibilities of the Executive Committee
Shall facilitate the formulation of policies and strategies of IAA and forward them to the council for approval.
Shall open a bank account for IAA in compliance with the financial laws and regulations of the country
Shall formulate annual plan and budget and seek approval of the same by the council.
Shall regularly monitor and control the effective implementation of programs and plans of IAA.
Shall give advice, consultation, and guidance in the development of IAA projects.
Shall facilitate the formulation of policies and regulations of IAA, evaluate, approve, and monitor their implementation and enforcement.
Shall monitor and ensure the implementation of directives and decisions passed by the council.
Shall execute work rules, internal guidelines, procedural manuals, and directives proposed by the council.
Shall develop fundraising strategies and implement them or and monitor their implementation.
IAA Global Support Group (IAA GSG)
IAA Global Support Group (IAA GSG) is led by its leadership assigned by the Executive Committee. IAA GSG functions in close communication and collaboration with the executive team to implement assignments abroad bestowed upon them by the executive. IAA GSG abides by the bylaws of IAA, IAA's mission, and vision.