With a global staff of more than 1,500 worldwide, the Jesuit Refugee Service is a key source for journalists who seek information on the latest issues on forced displacement in the world. Journalists visiting this site have access to press releases, latest news affecting refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, updates from JRS projects and activities, speeches, special features and more.

JRS programmes are implemented through more than 50 country offices and a large network of partners, and annually benefit more than 500,000 people worldwide.

Our global network of regional communications officers, based throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, can provide updates in emergencies and access to field staff.

Regional staff can lend insight into JRS programmes and advocacy priorities and provide detailed information on current global crises.

For media inquiries or to arrange an interview, please contact our communications staff.

For all other inquiries, please call +32 2 250 3223
Italian elections: New Agenda on Migration needed say Christian organisations
Rome, 8 February 2018 - With national elections in less than a month and the challenges of migration as a hot issue in the political debate, JRS Italy, known locally as Centro Astalli, together with other Christian organisations working on migration issues, launches today concrete proposals for a New Agenda on Migration.
JRS UK publish report revealing the reality of homelessness among refugees
London, 1 February 2018 - The report “Out in the Cold: Homelessness among destitute refugees in London" finds that most of the refugees attending the JRS UK Day Centre had slept rough at some point in the previous year, and one in five had been forced to spend more than a month on the streets.
Croatia: Christmas Lunch with a Refugee
Zagreb, 05 January 2018 - For the second year, the Jesuit Refugee Service in Croatia organized the ‘Christmas Lunch with a Refugee’ initiative to foster encounter, acquaintance and communication between the refugees and the local population.
Greece: Asylum Seekers in Abysmal Conditions on Islands
Athens, 23 October 2017 – Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras should end the Greek government’s “containment policy” of confining asylum seekers to the Aegean islands, 19 human rights and humanitarian aid organizations said in an open letter released today.
European JRS meeting in Brussels
Brussels, 13 October 2017 – For two days last week, directors from 15 JRS national offices in Europe came together with the JRS Europe team for a regional coordination meeting in Brussels, Belgium.
Syria: When hope returns – Amena’s story
Homs, 11 October 2017 - To celebrate the Internatinal Day of the Girl Child, we share the story of Amena, a thirteen-year old girl. She is typical of so many other children her age and younger, who belong to what is regarded as a lost generation.
USA: JRS recognized with the Anne Frank Award
Washington DC, 18 September 2017 - The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands recognized JRS USA with the Anne Frank Award. The award is given to an American person or organization who has demonstrated a body of work which confronts intolerance, anti Semitism, racism or discrimination, while upholding freedom and equal rights.
JRS UK: abusive immigration detention system urgently needs reform
London, 08 September 2017 – An undercover investigation by the BBC aired on 4 September shows staff abusing detainees in Brook House immigration removal centre. JRS UK issued the following press release on the day of the BBC Panorama broadcast.
Global: Pope's message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018
Vatican City, 22 August 2017 - Pope Francis' message for the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees was released by the Vatican yesterday.
JRS Europe Annual Report 2016
Brussels, 06 July 2017 – JRS Europe is pleased to present the Annual Report 2016. The report details work by the Regional Office in Brussels as well as 18 national JRS offices across Europe, over the course of 2016.
Tvrtko Barun and the European Citizen's Prize
Zagreb, 30 June 2017 - The head of the Jesuit Refugee Service in South-East Europe, Tvrtko Barun SJ, is one of the winners of this year’s European Citizen's Prize.
11th Detention Visitors Support Group in Brussels
Brussels, 26 June 2017 - For the 11th year running, JRS Europe hosted a three-day workshop for detention centre visitors. This year, the training programme focused on developing emotional resilience to prevent the burnout of visitors.
VIDEO campaign: spotlight on refugee integration
PRESS RELEASE 19 June 2017, Brussels – As part of the ‘I Get You’ campaign, JRS Europe mapped 315 grassroots refugee initiatives across 9 EU countries. Now, for Refugee Day, we proudly launch 9 campaign videos that put some of these projects into focus.
JRS Europe welcomes new policy and advocacy officer
Brussels, 8 June 2017 – JRS Europe is pleased to welcome Claudia Bonamini as our new Policy and Advocacy Officer.
I Get You combats racism and xenophobia
PRESS RELEASE 31 May 2017, Brussels – JRS Europe, today, releases key data analysis of 315 community building initiatives mapped as part of I Get You. The European Mapping Report shows that grassroots projects working on integration with refugees have a big impact combatting racism and xenophobia in the nine countries taking part.
JRS France: opening doors, horizons and minds
Paris, 05 May 2017 – As France gears up to choose its next president in elections on Sunday, the director of JRS France, Antoine Paumard SJ, looks back on a year full new challenges, but also new hope for greater collaboration and hospitality for refugees from civil society.
Germany: local welcome vs. government roll-back
Berlin, 25 April 2017 – In this preview from our upcoming annual report, JRS Germany communications officer, Dorothee Hasskamp, looks back over the last year of work and briefs us on the situation for refugees in Germany.
JRS Europe coordination meeting in Croatia
Zagreb, 5 April 2017 – For two and a half days last week, directors from 16 JRS national offices in Europe came together with the JRS Europe team for a regional coordination meeting in Zagreb, Croatia. This bi-annual meeting is a key occasion for JRS in Europe to build our common projects and work to accompany, serve and advocate for refugees in the region.
From Syria to Belgium: Searching for the treasure
Brussels, 13 March 2017 - Twin sisters Nagham and Shadan taught life-skills to displaced children at a JRS centre in Syria until the war forced them out of their country. Now they're set to replicate the program with JRS Belgium.
International Women’s Day 2017
Brussels, 08 March 2017 – To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017, we asked women who work with JRS around Europe about what it means for them and for the women refugees they accompany.
New Regional Director at JRS Europe
Brussels, 20 January 2017 – JRS Europe is pleased to present Jose Ignacio Garcia, SJ, as the new Regional Director. He takes up the reins from Jean-Marie Carriere, SJ.
Italy: Young refugees represent hope for a peaceful future
Rome, 16 January 2017 - On the occasion of the 2017 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, many refugees, volunteers and friends of JRS Italy - Centro Astalli met Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, newly elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus.
Christmas lunch with a refugee
Zagreb, 04 January 2017 - Twenty Croatian families opened their homes on Christmas and hosted 50 refugees for a Christmas lunch as a part of Jesuit Refugee Service South East Europe (JRS SEE) campaign “Christmas lunch with a refugee”. The intention of the campaign was to encourage social interaction between local communities and refugees and asylum seekers in Croatia.
New job offer at JRS Europe
Brussels, January 2017 – The JRS Europe office in Brussels is currently recruiting for a Policy and Advocacy Officer. Do you have what it takes to fulfil this dynamic role? Complete and submit the application pack by 17:30 CET, January 15th, 2017. 
News archive
Taizé, France: community of hospitality
(Taizé), 21 December 2016 - The Taizé community in France welcomed 11 refugees from Sudan and Afghanistan at the beginning of November 2015. Here is first-hand account by one of the residents, recalling their arrival and subsequent life in the village.
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Joint statement: EU leaders can save lives this winter
Brussels, 14 December 2016 - Ahead of the EU Council meeting in Brussels on 15 December, JRS Europe together with over 30 other refugee organisations is calling on political leaders to take immediate action to save lives in Greece this winter. The full statement follows here.
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Launch of new refugee newspaper in Croatia
Zagreb, 08 December 2016 – “Paths” is the title of the new newspaper created by asylum seekers and refugees that was launched at the 36th anniversary celebration of JRS in mid-November. Covering a range of inter-cultural issues, the newspaper contains articles in Arabic, Croatian, Farsi and English.
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Children cannot wait
Brussels, 29 November 2016 - EU institutions and Member States must do more to protect refugee and migrant children, a statement signed by 78 civil society organisations said today to mark the opening of the 10th European Forum on the Rights of the Child in Brussels.
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Greece-Portugal: Helping Refugees to Relocate
Lisbon, 21 October 2016 – JRS Portugal in coordination with PAR (Refugee Support Platform, a Portuguese coalition of host organizations), are spearheading a project with JRS Greece to help support, inform and accompany asylum seekers who are eligible for relocation from Greece to Portugal.
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JRS Romania: Mohamad’s story
Bucharest, 18 October 2016 - Mohamad is an Iraqi teenager who took refuge in Romania in 2014, just 15 years old. His parents were killed in front of him. Unfortunately, at the time of the attack, Mohamad was shot in the legs but the surgery performed in poor conditions at a hospital in Iraq managed to worsen the situation of his wound.
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Deal after deal, Europe is outsourcing its responsibilities for refugees
Berlin, 14 October 2016 – JRS Europe as one of 90 member organisations of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), endorses and shares the following statement issued during ECRE’s general assembly in Berlin.
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I Get You – mapping refugee initiatives in Europe
Brussels, 05 October 2016 – Since being launched on 20 April this year, the ‘I Get You’ campaign has mapped almost 300 refugee initiatives in the nine European countries taking part: Belgium, Croatia, France, Malta, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Romania and Spain.
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Refugee Journeys of Hope: French, German, Italian, Spanish versions out now
Brussels, 29 September 2016 – Originally published on World Refugee Day 2016, JRS Europe is now pleased to present ‘Journeys of Hope: Stories of refugees on the road to Europe’ in French, German, Italian and Spanish.
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UN Summit addressing large movements of refugees and migrants
Brussels, 12 September 2016 - More than 150 heads of state and government are due to gather at the UN on September 19th to lay the foundations for a new global framework to address large movements of refugees and migrants.
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JRS Malta: refugee report launch
13 July 2016 – Earlier this month JRS Malta together with Aditus Foundation, Integra Foundation and the Malta Emigrants’ Commission held a press conference in Valletta to launch the ‘Journeys of Hope’ report and call on the Maltese government to give refugees safe and legal access to protection.
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Civil society calls on EU Council to uphold migrants’ rights
Brussels, 27 June 2016 – In a letter to the Dutch EU Presidency and EU leaders, JRS Europe together with five other faith-based organisations calls on them to reject proposals which would make development aid conditional on migration control. The letter was sent to the leaders before the EU Council meeting on 28-29 June during which the proposals will be discussed.
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World Refugee Day: I Get You
Brussels, 20 June 2016 – For World Refugee Day, we celebrate two months of our ‘I Get You’ campaign. In that time, you have told us your stories and shared experiences of local activities run together with refugees. ‘I Get You’ goes to the very heart of World Refugee Day: it’s about people with diverse backgrounds learning and having fun together.
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World Refugee Day 2016 — open minds, unlock potential
(Rome) June 20, 2016 — An unprecedented 60 million people  — mothers, fathers, sisters and children — have fled their homes seeking safety. Imagine everyone in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and Colorado in motion: taking trucks, rafts, footpaths and trains; taking children, blankets, clothing and, most often, taking nothing.
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Special JRS publication for World Refugee Day: Journeys of Hope
Brussels, 17 June 2016 – Ahead of World Refugee Day, Jesuit Refugee Service Europe is pleased to present “Journeys of Hope: Stories of refugees on the road to Europe”, an eight-part documentary realised with refugees on the move through the Balkans and across the central Mediterranean from January to February 2016.
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10th Detention Visitors Support Group in Brussels
Brussels, 14 June 2016 – Last week, JRS Europe hosted a three-day workshop for detention centre visitors from across Europe for the 10th year running. The special training of this year’s Detention Visitor’s Support Group (DVSG) focused on identifying victims of human trafficking.
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Restrictive EU migration policies force desperate people to take deadly routes
Brussels, 8 June 2016 - While interior ministers meet tomorrow to discuss EU migration policies, people trying to reach the safety of Europe continue to die en route. Caritas Europa and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe calls on European leaders to alter its restrictive approach to migration.
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Safe and humane channels needed
(Brussels), 31 May 2016 – According to the UN refugee agency at least 880 forced migrants have perished in a series of shipwrecks on the central Mediterranean over the last week. JRS unequivocally calls upon national and supranational policymakers to use all the means at their disposal to create safe and humane passages for people in need of protection.
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JRS Europe annual report 2015
Brussels, 30 May 2016 – ‘Keep the spirit of welcome alive’ is the core message of the JRS Europe annual report released today. Despite the introduction of ever more restrictive border policies by states over the last months, JRS offices across Europe continue to see a strong will for welcoming refugees by local citizens.
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Growing pressure on Irish government to act on asylum report
Dublin, 25 May 2016 – Almost one year after the Working Group on the Protection Process issued its final report, key recommendations remain to be implemented in full.
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I dream of a Europe...
Brussels, 9 May 2016 - On Friday 6th May, Pope Francis was conferred the Charlemagne Prize, in the presence of Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Junker, Angela Merkel, and Felipe, King of Spain. The Pope called on Europe to rediscover a humanism based on a multicultural identity, open to migrants, a social market economy, able to give work to the young and educate them to dialogue.
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JRS Europe policy analysis: the EU-Turkey deal
Brussels, 03 May 2016 – “The EU-Turkey deal represents a seismic shift in the European Union’s policy towards forced migrants and its international protection obligations,” concludes the extensive policy analysis of the EU-Turkey deal published by JRS Europe today.
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JRS Europe annual general meeting in London
(Brussels), 22 April 2016 – Over 70 members of staff from over 20 different countries gathered in London last week for the JRS Europe annual general meeting. Held in the idyllic Hertfordshire countryside, participants took part in a series of talks and workshops about dealing with public opinion and building alliances to influence change.
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I Get You campaign launch
Brussels, 20 April 2016 - Exactly two months before World Refugee Day we are launching a new campaign called ‘I Get You’ to map, network and strengthen local initiatives of refugee welcome in Europe. To get involved visit our new interactive campaign website today at
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May we never forget them
(Brussels), 19 April 2016 - In his heartfelt visit to the Greek island of Lesbos at the weekend, Pope Francis stood in solidarity with refugees and migrants, reminding them “you are not alone.” 
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Forced migration and the Turkish gate-keeper
Brussels, 8 April 2016 – As the deportation of migrants from Greece to Turkey resumes today under the EU-Turkey deal we question whether Turkey really can offer the protection that many of these migrants need and whether the European Union is living up to its own core values on human rights.
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EU-Turkey plan disregards human rights
Brussels, 11 March 2016 – Earlier this week heads of EU member states met the Prime Minister of Turkey to try to find solutions to the humanitarian crisis playing out in the Aegean. The resultant plan dubbed ‘one for one’ envisages treating people fleeing war and state failure like parcels and would be a huge blow to human rights in Europe if ever implemented.
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Dismantling fences
Brussels, 3 March 2016 - As countries have restricted entry to their territories, with some closing their borders in a domino effect, a bottleneck of people has built up in Greece. Asylum seekers are locked by fences and guards who are prepared to use force to keep migrants from crossing the borders. As a result, migrants will resort to smugglers as the only option for moving out of Greece to another European country where they can more feasibly claim asylum.
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Opening a future with schools: JRS in Chad
N'Djamena, 22 February 2016 - JRS Europe regional director Jean-Marie Carrière shares his impressions from a recent visit to JRS Chad. The visit coincided with the opening of two wells at the Koukou refugee camp where JRS runs schools for Sudanese refugees.
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JRS Belgium - Up Together!
Brussels, 16 February 2016 – JRS Belgium has launched a new hospitality project called Up Together which seeks to provide support to an extremely vulnerable and forgotten group of forced migrants.
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JRS Germany raises questions over proposed asylum package
Berlin, 15 February 2016 – JRS Germany has raised a number of questions over the German government’s new asylum legislation package. JRS Germany outlined its main concerns in a letter to the Interior Ministry on 2 February, and calls for them to be seriously considered before the bill comes before the German Federal Parliament next week.
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Growing concerns over conditions for refugee children in Europe
Brussels, 12 February 2016 – According to UNICEF there is an increasing number of both accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children arriving to Europe. As of 11 January this year children accounted for one out of every four migrants crossing the Mediterranean many travelling without their parents or caretakers. JRS calls upon Europe to ensure that these children are properly cared for according to their best interests.
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JRS Portugal raises funds for refugees in Lebanon
Lisbon, 05 February 2016 – JRS Portugal has received about 100,000 euros to support educational projects developed by JRS Lebanon in the Bekaa valley in the scope of a fundraising campaign taking place in Portugal from the beginning of October.
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JRS Greece: hard conditions for asylum seekers in Athens
Athens, 29 January 2016 – Despite the winter cold and rough seas people continue to take great risks to reach Greece from Turkey. JRS is present on Lesbos and in Athens welcoming and accompanying new arrivals.
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Lebanon: JRS offers hope through education
(Beirut) 22 January 2016 – Gharam, a 14-year-old girl who fled to Lebanon from Syria with her family to escape her country’s civil war, longs to return home. But in the meantime, a Jesuit Refugee Service school she attends in her host country – which has welcomed about 1.5 million Syrian refugees since war erupted in the Syria in 2011 – has been a welcome oasis in an otherwise turbulent world.
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Ireland: civil society calls for refugee welcome
Dublin, 15 January 2016 - In mid-December Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Ireland joined with 21 leading NGOs to launch a new report – Protection, Resettlement and Integration: Ireland’s Response to the Refugee and Migration ‘Crisis’.
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Vatican City: Pope Francis speaks out for World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Vatican City, 12 January 2016 – Yesterday, Pope Francis spoke out for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be celebrated on 17 January. In his speech, "Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy," the Pope says that refugees and migrants are "people whose dignity is to be protected and who are capable of contributing to progress and the general welfare."
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Common action needed - unilateral border controls not the answer
Brussels, 7 January 2016 - JRS Europe is concerned at the recent news that Sweden has felt the need to reinstate identity checks at its border with Denmark. Sweden has a long tradition of protecting refugees and defending human rights. Indeed, in 2015 the country received the highest number of refugees per capita in the EU. Civil society and NGOs like JRS Sweden have been welcoming and done much hard work to welcome the new arrivals.
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Refugee 'guides' in Stockholm
Stockholm, 14 December 2015 – The Jesuit parish in Stockholm accommodates twenty refugees two nights a week, in conjunction with other parishes. JRS is also working to accompany refugees with around 50 volunteers organised to be mentors for them, facilitating cultural exchange and understanding. JRS Sweden director Marc-Stephan Giese SJ shares some experiences from the project so far.
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Editorial: People on the move
Brussels, 03 December 2015 - This editorial from our latest newsletter was written before the recent building of fences along many European borders. However, people searching for safety will always find ways to move, even if they are dangerous. Here, regional director Jean-Marie Carrière offers new perspectives on the so-called refugee crisis in Europe.
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New JRS project in Hungary
Budapest, 27 November 2015 - After several months of planning and coordination with JRS Europe a new project has started in Budapest. The main activities are accompaniment and awareness raising.
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Top Jesuits call for solidarity with refugees
Brussels, 19 October 2015 – Hospitality and generosity should be at the centre of our response to the increased arrivals of refugees in Europe, say a group of leading European Jesuits in a statement released today. The statement acknowledges work done over past decades with refugee and migrant communities by Jesuits and those working with them and calls for renewed energy and vision in building active solidarity and hospitality with forced migrants.
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EU: ensuring international protection must be priority
Brussels, 14 October 2015 – The European Council’s meeting on 15-16 October will focus mainly on preparing the Valetta Summit to be held on 11-12 November. JRS Europe welcomes this initiative as it is necessary to enhance dialogue with African countries and discuss issues surrounding forced migration and displacement. However, EU political leaders should not turn a blind-eye to the material and protection needs of refugees and asylum seekers.
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Letter to British PM: put people before politics
London, 07 October 2015 - The head of the Jesuits in Britain, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, has written to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to urge a change in policy towards refugees in the light of the current crisis in Europe and the Middle East. JRS Europe warmly welcomes this initiative of the Jesuits in Britain and supports the letter’s message of hospitality and compassion.
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JRS SEE helping refugees in Croatia
Zagreb, 01 October 2015 – JRS South East Europe communications officer Marinela Vidic-Ivos reports on the JRS response to new arrivals in the country. After Hungary completed its barbed wire fence along its border with Serbia people travelling through the Balkans began arriving in Croatia. JRS SEE was there to provide assistance in the reception centre near Zagreb from midnight 16-17 September when the first group of forced migrants arrived.
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Interview: director of JRS Portugal
Lisbon, 18 September 2015 – Director of JRS Portugal for the last eight years, André Costa Jorge, took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with us about the European refugee crisis and the local response. JRS Portugal, which has long accompanied and supported forced migrants, is now leading the way in preparing for the arrival of almost 5,000 Syrians and Eritreans under the latest EU relocation plan.
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European leaders: protecting life must come first
Brussels, 17 September 2015 - JRS Europe calls on the extraordinary EU council meeting on 22 September to urgently take common action to protect refugees in Europe. The Council of Ministers meeting held in Brussels on 14 September failed to embrace the hospitality shown to asylum seekers by civil society and individuals over the past few weeks.
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Inadequate reception conditions on Lesbos
PHOTO FEATURE: Lesbos, Greece, 16 September 2015 – Maurice Joyeux SJ reports from the Greek island of Lesbos which has seen thousands of forced migrants arrive daily. Here we present a series of photos from the town of Mytilene.
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Letter to EU president: common humanitarian action needed
Brussels, 10 September 2015 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and its members across Europe, today called upon the President of the European Union, Donald Tusk, to lead member states to agree on common humanitarian action on refugees in their meeting of 14 September. The letter signed by 13 JRS offices and two Jesuit partner agencies calls for EU political measures to back up the warm welcome civil societies have given to refugees across the continent.
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Hospitality is the key says Pope Francis
Brussels, 7 September 2015 – Pope Francis Sunday issued a strong appeal to the entire European Church to take in refugee families as part of the build-up to the upcoming Jubilee year of Mercy. His message was backed up by John Dardis head of the Jesuits in Europe, who called for renewed activism and efforts to show hospitality to refugees in Europe. JRS Europe together with national JRS offices and partners across the continent is putting hospitality at the heart of all its actions in the coming months.
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Stop refugee deaths: yes we can
Brussels, 31 August 2015 – With no alternatives, people fleeing war and oppression try to reach safety in Europe at any cost. All too often they die. Stopping such tragedies is entirely achievable. Through cooperation and good governance European states may open legal and safe channels for refugees to reach Europe. Now is the time for a European humanitarian visa scheme.
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Refugees welcome! Civil society acts
Brussels, 20 August 2015 – As discussions continue on the political level about how to deal with increased numbers of asylum seekers in Europe, many citizens across the continent have been quick to set up local initiatives to welcome and support refugees. Whilst some politicians have raised fears about Europe being overwhelmed by migrants, many locals have shown that hospitality and friendship is possible even in difficult circumstances, such as in Greece, Hungary and Italy.
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Manual for detention visitors
Brussels, 9 July 2015 - JRS Europe recently published a manual for detention visitors. For the last eight years, detention visitors from across the JRS network in Europe have gathered together annually to exchange information and experiences. At the last meeting of the Detention Visitor’s Support Group (DVSG) it was decided to gather all this knowledge together in the form of a manual for new detention visitors.
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Celebrating with refugees in Europe
Brussels, 15 June 2015 - World Refugee Day is marked on 20th June. In some countries there is also Refugee Week from 15 to 21 June. Together with JRS teams in 13 European countries and close partners in a further nine, JRS Europe invites you to reflect on what it means to open your door to someone in need.
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JRS Europe Annual Report 2014
Brussels, 27 May 2015 – “We must open the doors,” says regional director, Jean-Marie Carrière in JRS Europe’s annual report, released today. This will enable forced migrants to “avoid life-threatening journeys and help put smugglers out of business.”
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Job vacancy: Policy and Advocacy Officer
Brussels, 30 April 2015 – The JRS Europe office in Brussels is currently recruiting a Policy and Advocacy Officer. Do you have what it takes to fulfil this dynamic role? Complete and submit the application pack by 15 May 17.30 CET.
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Italy: those seeking asylum are seeking help from you
Rome, 24 April 2015 – The number of asylum applications in Italy increased by 143 percent in 2014, reaching a new record of 64,886, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Italy annual report. While great strides have been made to accommodate refugees and asylum seekers, more needs to be done by the Italian and European authorities to welcome and integrate the newcomers. During the presentation of the report in Rome yesterday, JRS called for a cultural shift in Europe towards hospitality and solidarity.
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Europe: save lives now! No more deaths in the Mediterranean
Brussels, Rome, 21 April 2015 – As the death toll in the Mediterranean reaches record proportions, Europe’s first priority must be to implement a full-scale search and rescue operation. Saving human life must come first. Europe should follow the example of Italy. Now is the time for extraordinary action.
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Spain: legalising human rights violations?
Madrid, 27 March 2015 - The Spanish parliament, yesterday evening, adopted a law that allows for immediate returns of irregular migrants at the borders of the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco. JRS Europe and SJM Spain have serious concerns that the law would legalise 'hot returns' of people in need of protection without providing them with access to the proper procedures. We call upon the European Commission to fully investigate the human rights implications of this law.
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Spain-Morocco: border violence
Madrid, 24 March 2015 – Together with Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes (SJM), JRS Europe is monitoring events on the Spanish land borders with Morocco very closely. Following interviews with migrants and visits to border posts at the Melilla-Nador border detailed submissions were made to an EU delegation that visited in February. JRS Europe is alarmed by recent border violence and the continued efforts of the Spanish government to legalise push-backs.
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Humanitarian visas save lives
Brussels, 24 March 2015 - JRS Europe is lobbying for the creation of more safe and legal paths to Europe. Currently, restrictive EU border policy means that people fleeing persecution and conflict often take terrible risks in the hands of smugglers in their attempt to reach safety.
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UK inquiry: use of detention must change
London, 3 March 2015 – A landmark report, published today, by a British cross-party parliamentary group concludes that immigration detention in the UK is 'expensive, ineffective and unjust.' The Jesuit Refugee Service in Europe supports the findings of the report and calls for its key recommendations to be followed. Alternatives to detention must be used whilst a maximum time limit on detention of 28-days would greatly reduce human suffering.
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PRESS RELEASE: Spain-Morocco Border Tragedy Anniversary
Madrid, Brussels, 05 February 2015 – JRS Europe and SJM Spain call for safe and legal access to Europe one year after 14 people died during a confrontation with Spanish border guards near Ceuta. The Tarajal tragedy serves as a stark reminder that Spain along with other European Union member states are a long way off respecting the human dignity of forced migrants.
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Call to protect child rights in EU asylum system
Brussels, 28 January 2015 – The individual interests of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the EU must be respected says a new policy paper signed by JRS Europe and six other Christian NGOs. Amendments to the Dublin Regulation must ensure that a child is not subject to long legal delays or arbitrary transfers to countries where their needs will not be met.
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Malta: Care in Captivity?
Malta, 22 December 2014 – JRS Malta has launched a new 20-page report on the provision of mental health care for asylum seekers held in detention centres in Malta. The report entitled ‘Care in Captivity?’ finds several gaps in service provision for vulnerable asylum seekers and contains a number of recommendations on how to improve conditions.
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Human rights award for JRS Portugal
Lisbon, 19 December 2014 – JRS Portugal has been honoured with a commemorative gold medal for its work with forced migrants. The award was presented by the Portuguese parliament on 10th December, International Human Rights Day.
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Upcoming event in Brussels
Brussels, 27 November 2014 – JRS Europe together with the Beguinage parish in Brussels will hold an event on the European refugee policies on 9 December from 7 till 9pm. The evening focuses on the situation of refugees crossing the Mediterranean and suggests possibilities for a better humanitarian response from Europe. Held in the Begijnhof church in central Brussels, the event will conclude with a ceremony for the ‘unknown migrant’.
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Pope Francis: Solidarity for Refugees
Brussels, 24 November 2014 - On the occasion of Pope Francis’s speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 November, the Jesuit Refugee Service urges European countries to remain faithful to one of the fundamental values underpinning the European Union by showing concrete solidarity with migrants and refugees and ensuring fully-fledged joint search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
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Creating safe pathways to Europe: the toolbox approach
Brussels, 20 November 2014 – Together with six other Christian NGOs, JRS Europe has developed a set of recommendations for safe and legal paths to protection in the European Union. Currently, hundreds of people fleeing war and persecution die trying to reach Europe every month, despite an international legal framework which should ensure human rights and recognize the right to asylum.
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JRS Europe welcomes new regional director
Brussels, 1 November 2014 – After an intense two-month handover, Jean-Marie Carrière SJ, takes over the reins of the Jesuit Refugee Service Europe network as Regional Director from Michael Schöpf SJ.
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EU action urgently needed on Italy’s refugee crisis
Brussels, 8 October 2014 – JRS Europe launched its new report ‘Rescued – What Next? Protection seekers stranded in Sicily’ at a policy briefing in the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday. The briefing and discussion drew a clear link between Italian and EU policies on reception conditions for asylum seekers. It called on European decision-makers to work together to find joint solutions to better accommodate and integrate forced migrants.
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Pope Francis urges 'globalization of charity and cooperation' to aid migrants and refugees
Vatican, 24 September 2014 – "Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles, and through them he calls us to share our resources, and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches," writes Pope Francis in his annual message ahead of the Jan. 18 World Day of Refugees and Migrants.
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JRS works to mainstream human rights at Frontex
Brussels, 07 August 2014 – For two years now, Stefan Kessler, senior policy officer at JRS Europe has been the co-chair of the consultative forum to Frontex, the EU agency for external border security headquartered in Warsaw. JRS Europe, took part regular discussions with the management board and staff of Frontex in order to mainstream human rights in their border security work. The first annual report of the consultative forum is out now.
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Spain-Morocco: borders before people
Madrid, 06 August 2014 – A special report ‘Lives at the Southern Borders’ based on two fact-finding missions to the Spanish borders with Morocco, calls on the Spanish government and the European Union to put human rights before border security. The report and recommendations were submitted to the Spanish Ombudsman at the end of July.
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Malta: desperation drives boat migrants – new report
Valletta, 24 July 2014 – JRS Malta hosted the launch of ‘Going West’, a report on mixed migration from the Horn of Africa to Libya and Europe, based on extensive field research by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS). The Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta was full as a lively discussion and debate ensued.
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European Court: migrants must not be detained as criminals
Luxembourg, 17 July 2014 - The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that migrants must not be held in prison pending their removal if a Member State has a specialized detention centre in any part of its territory.
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France: more than space to live, the Welcome project
Paris, 20 June 2014 – Swastik came from a normal family in rural Bangladesh. Her father was a farmer and her mother a tailor. Most of her life was not so different from those around her, until her sister was kidnapped and murdered and she was forced to flee for her life. Without going into the details of exactly what happened, it is suffice to say she was persecuted.
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JRS Europe – Annual Report 2013
Brussels, 16 June 2014 – Europe’s indifference to the suffering of millions of refugees seeking protection makes a mockery of its claim to moral leadership in the world today, said JRS Europe as it launched its annual report.
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Letter to European Council President: human rights of migrants must be top priority
Brussels, 05 June 2014 – JRS Europe, together with four other Christian NGO partners, has sent a letter to European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy urging him to prioritise the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers in future EU Migration and Asylum Policy.
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Kosovo: keeping arms open to asylum seekers
Kosovo, 26 May 2014 – A new asylum reception centre in Kosovo built with EU funds is housing a low number of migrants at the moment. Nevertheless, the local government does not have the money to provide for basic needs such as books, medication or hygienic packs. JRS fills in as many gaps as possible. But Kosovo needs to invest and prepare for higher refugee flows in the future.
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Morocco: a distant view to a place of protection
Morocco, 26 May 2014 – JRS Europe visits forced migrants literally living on the margins of society: on a mountain in Morocco. Destitution and desperation drive them to attempt to cross high barbed wire fences into the two Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta. But recently, 300 migrants faced Spanish rubber bullets and tear gas at Ceuta, killing 15. JRS Europe condemns this flagrant violation of EU law and demands that migrants coming to Europe have access to asylum procedures.
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Time to put words into action
13 May 2014 - This week a boat carrying 400 migrants sank off the coast of Lampedusa. Up to 40 may have died and many more gone missing. The latest tragedy in the Mediterranean shows that the EU cannot dither any longer on creating safe and legal channels for protection seekers to come to the EU.
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Germany: Europe can do more to help Syria's refugees
9 May 2014 - JRS Europe and other NGOs support the German Parliament's call for an EU conference to resettle more of Syria's refugees to Europe.
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Morocco not a safe place for forced migrants in need of protection
Brussels, 15 April 2014 - JRS Europe publishes a new policy paper on its recent visit to northern Morocco and Spanish enclave Melilla.
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Call for Europeans to vote responsibly in the next EU elections
Brussels, 14 April 2014 - The Initiative for Christians in Europe (IXE) launches a website to empower Christians to take part in the EU elections of 22-25 May.
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Italy: government fails to protect refugees and asylum seekers
Rome, 8 April 2014 – The economic crisis in Italy has hit refugees in a particularly harsh manner. Even those who were well on the road to becoming self-sufficient have been forced to seek assistance, according the annual report by the Jesuit Refugee Service in Italy (Centro Astalli).
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Syria: Jesuit Refugee Service mourns the death of Frans van der Lugt SJ
Beirut, 7 April 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria has announced its closure for three days over the tragic loss of Fr Frans van der Lugt. The whole JRS family is deeply saddened and shocked by his sudden death this morning.
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JRS Syria receives Pax Christi International Peace Award
Rome, 31 March 2014 – The 2014 Pax Christi International Peace Award has been granted to the Jesuit Refugee Service Syria for dedication in providing emergency relief to Syrians since the conflict began in 2011. Established in 1988, the Award honours contemporary individuals and organisations who make a stand for peace, justice and non-violence in different parts of the world.
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Prisons are not a place for migrants
Brussels, 17 December 2013 - A spate of recent decisions by local courts in the German federal state of Bavaria, spurred by JRS Germany, is leading to the end of migrant detention in prisons.
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How Syrian refugees are treated in Europe
Brussels, 16 December 2013 - Despite their clear need for protection, Syrians who come to Europe have mixed experiences based on which country they are in, according to a new report.
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A missed chance to protect lives
Brussels, 5 December 2013 – The results of the European Commission-led "Taskforce Mediterranean" contain little that would substantially protect the lives of migrants at Europe's borders.
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Enough deaths in the Mediterranean: It’s time for extraordinary measures
Rome, Brussels, 3 October 2013 - More than 80 people have died in a shipwreck off the island of Lampedusa. It is estimated that over 500 migrants were on the boat. The European Union must act to offer a safe humanitarian channel for refugees seeking protection in Europe.
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Kenya and Malawi: first graduation of university students sponsored by the Jesuit Refugee Service
Rome, 24 September 2013 – After years of planning and hard work in harsh conditions, the first group of 48 refugees sponsored by the Jesuit Refugee Service will graduate from university this week. The refugee graduates have been participants in the innovative online Diploma in Liberal Studies managed by the Jesuit Refugee Service and Jesuit Commons Higher Education at the Margins.
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Pope Francis visits refugees at Centro Astalli (JRS Italy) in Rome
Rome, 20 September 2013 – Responding to an invitation by the Director of Centro Astalli (Jesuit Refugee Service in Italy), Pope Francis made an official visit to the JRS Italy soup kitchen on Via degli Astalli in Rome earlier this month.
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Northern Ireland's High Court Blocks Dublin II Transfer to Ireland
Brussels, 12 September 2013 – In an unprecedented decision, the High Court of Northern Ireland has rejected a Dublin II transfer request for a Sudanese family to be returned to Ireland based on criticism of Ireland’s asylum procedures and its system for accommodating people seeking asylum, known as “direct provision.”
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The Dublin III Regulation Enters Into Force
Brussels, 19 July 2013 -- JRS and ECRE release a joint statement as the Dublin III Regulation enters into force today.
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JRS Malta joins NGOs to demand that the Maltese Government does not deport Somali migrants to Libya
Brussels, 9 July 2013 - JRS Malta, with partner NGOs released a joint statement this evening demanding that the Maltese government does not deport Somali migrants to Libya tonight.
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Italy: Pope Francis visits Lampedusa to call for global response to forced migration
Brussels, 9 July 2013 - JRS Europe welcomes the first visit of the Pope to the island of Lampedusa, to show solidarity with migrants and to call for a global response to forced migration
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JRS Malta calls on Maltese Government not to push back migrants to Libya
JRS Malta, with partner NGOs, respond to the Maltese Prime Minister's threat to push back migrants to Libya if Malta does not receive support from other European countries or from the EU
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JRS Europe submits Frontex concerns to EU Ombudsman
Brussels, 30 August 2012 – JRS Europe has submitted a paper outlining its main concerns regarding Frontex's human rights record to the EU Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros. This was in response to a request from the ombudsman for observations from interested parties, NGOs other specialist organisations on Frontex's reply to his inquiry into their implementation of fundamental rights obligations.
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UNHCR welcomes nomination of new UN High Commissioner
Geneva, 24 May 2005 – On behalf of the staff of UNHCR, Acting U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Wendy Chamberlin on Tuesday welcomed the announcement in New York of the nomination of former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres as the UN refugee agency's 10th High Commissioner.
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Churches meet with the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union
Brussels, 20 May 2005 – Church representatives today welcomed the inclusion of respect for human dignity and prospects for increased solidarity in the EU Constitutional Treaty during a meeting with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg and President-in-Office of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker held in Brussels.
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