Other JRS Publications




No Giving Up: stories of untold journeys
Asylum seekers face uncertainty and ambiguity about their future. The experiences of the women who contributed to this booklet shed light on a disturbing reality, where asylum seekers try to secure their rights, but are confronted with a system full of hurdles and difficulties.
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Rescued – what next? Protection seekers stranded in Sicily
As the international press in 2014 focused on the flow of forced migrants reaching Sicily and Lampedusa, far less attention has been paid to what happens to those who end up staying in Sicily. The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Italy, known as Centro Astalli, has offices in Rome, Trento, Vicenza, Palermo and Catania, offering a range of services. JRS teams in Sicily witness first-hand the suffering of refugees and other forced migrants struggling to survive there. This report seeks to give a voice to those who agreed to share their experience in Sicily to highlight the urgent need for changes in Italy's reception system.

This publication is available in Italian here.

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Beyond Imagination, Asylum Seekers Testify to Life in Libya

In 2009, Jesuit Refugee Service Malta published a booklet about life for asylum seekers in Libya, entitled Do they know? At the time, Gaddafi was still in power and asylum seekers and migrants were subjected to arbitrary detention, torture and xenophobic violence.

By all accounts, the post-Gaddafi era is even worse. Since Malta has very actively considered push-backs, JRS decided to issue another publication about life for asylum seekers in Libya today, so that the consequences of returning anyone there will be clear to all.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates that Libya hosts around 30,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers, as well as a huge population of migrants searching for work, who come from sub-Saharan Africa as well as Middle Eastern and other North About this booklet African countries. Many, if not most, asylum seekers consider Libya as a stepping-stone on their arduous journey to find safety in Europe.

These pages focus specifically on asylum seekers from Eastern Africa, bringing you the voices of Eritrean and Somali asylum seekers who passed through Libya in 2012 and 2013 and who were interviewed after their arrival in Malta.


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Beyond Imagination: asylum seekers testify to life in Libya
Published in January 2014 by JRS Malta, this report reveals the harsh treatment asylum seekers endured in Libya, a country where many Sub-Saharan asylum seekers go to on their way to Europe. The allegations are based on numerous testimonies collected by JRS Malta from asylum seekers themselves.

This publication is available in Spanish here.

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From Back Door to Front Door: Forced Migration Routes Through Macedonia to Croatia
JRS Europe interviewed forced migrants travelling through Macedonia and Croatia in order to better understand their search for safety, and how the governments of both countries offer protection.
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Protection Interrupted: The Dublin Regulation's Impact on Asylum Seekers' Protection


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Becoming Vulnerable in Detention
Published in June 2010, and based on interviews with 685 asylum seekers and irregular migrants detained in 23 EU countries. The report is the main result of JRS Europe's "DEVAS project" (Detention of Vulnerable Asylum Seekers in Europe), co-financed by the European Commission. Its main conclusion is that detention deteriorates the physical and mental health of nearly everyone who experiences it. Symptoms related to severe depress and anxiety, as well as insomnia, loss of appetite and migraines, are frequently reported. The negative effects of detention are found to be related to how well one is informed about immigration procedures, detainees' connections to support in the outside world, and the time length of detention.
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From Deprivation to Liberty: Alternatives to detention in Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom
Published in December 2011. The report is based on interviews with migrants participating in alternative to detention programmes in the three aforementioned countries. On the basis of these interviews, JRS Europe developed guidelines on how governments can establish sustainable alternatives to detention that respect the human dignity of migrants, while also being effective for the state authorities. By investigating specific examples, such as an alternative to detention for families in Belgium, JRS Europe shows that in most cases governments need not detain migrants because they can instead resolve their cases in the community.
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Lives in Transition: Experiences of Migrants Living in Morocco and Algeria
Published in December 2012. JRS Europe interviewed migrants living in Casablanca, Rabat and Tangiers in Morocco, and Algiers, Oran and Tamanrasset in Algeria. This report details the harsh conditions in which migrants and refugees live in both countries. Faced with an inability to support themselves, many become destitute. With neither country having a national refugee law, protection can only be provided by UNHCR, and even this does not guarantee that people will not be deported to the desert borders.
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No Other Option: Testimonies from Asylum Seekers Living in Ukraine
Published in June 2011. JRS Europe visited the city of Lviv to meet with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants living at a shelter managed by JRS Ukraine. Visits were also made to local government officials, as well as the Zhuravychi detention centre at the northwestern Ukrainian border. The report details the lives of forced migrants who endeavoured to seek protection in Europe but have become stalled in Ukraine. Tight border controls prevent many from entering Europe, and going back is not an option as many fear human rights abuse in their home countries. Consequentially, migrants become stuck in Ukraine, a country with very low refugee recognition rates and nearly no support services for migrants. Detention centres are built with EU funds, but with no funding to ensure its daily maintenance, leaving detainees without access to resources as basic as food.
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Living in Limbo: forced migrant destitution in Europe


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Do They Know? Asylum seekers testify to life in Libya
Published in 2009 by JRS Malta, this report contains the testimonies of numerous asylum seekers who suffered harsh treatment in Libya, a country where many asylum seekers go through on their way to Europe.
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Administrative Detention of Asylum Seekers and Illegally Staying Third Country Nationals in the 10 New Member States of the EU
A comparative report of how migrants and asylum seekers are detained in the countries that joined the EU in 2004. Published in 2007 by JRS Malta. 
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