As compared to awareness raising, advocacy strategies are more targeted. They have the ultimate aim of persuading certain public or private institutions to undertake specific actions. Consequently, when launching advocacy campaigns, CSOs should have a clearly defined, and a realistically achievable objective.
The need for advocacy is likely to be applicable in requesting and requested states, and is often aimed at similar objectives in the two concerned jurisdictions. For example the reform of public policy on asset recovery specific issues, including the reform of legislation and institutions involved in the asset recovery process, will be a potential target in both countries, though the exact content of that advocacy campaign will likely differ.
For example in relation to prevention:
- CSOs in requested jurisdictions are likely to target the private sector, first and foremost the financial industry, and aim for enhanced regulatory action by public agencies to enhance supervision of these private-sector institutions.
- On the other hand in requesting jurisdictions such efforts aimed at enhancing prevention would target gaps and loopholes in the public sector primarily, such as advocating for better conflict of interest regulations.
In both requesting and requested states, CSOs will be keen on ensuring a great degree of transparency and accountability in relation to the asset recovery process. They will want a highly proactive attitude of local law enforcement in relation to investigating stolen assets:
- in requesting countries through a criminal investigation into the underlying crime;
- in requested countries through an investigation into money laundering.
Importantly, when it comes to the return of stolen assets, a close collaboration in advocacy work between CSOs in requesting and requested countries is actually recommended, as their interests are likely to converge.
CSO advocacy work in this area will aim at engaging an early dialogue on the potential end-use of returned assets, at a participatory process to determine this end-use, and at potential civil society participation in either the use of returned assets or the monitoring of this use.
Close collaboration and coordination between CSOs from requesting and requested jurisdictions will help advance these issues constructively and could help overcome potential reluctance between requested and requesting jurisdictions to engage in a dialogue on this matter.
Forms of advocacy include:
- Influencing political will
- Promoting reform in public policy
- Strengthening government accountability with regards to asset recovery and related issues
- Demanding stronger prevention mechanisms, including from the private sector