News and Stories
On this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, September 27, JRS Europe joins Pope Francis in calling for attention for the difficult situation of internally displaced people (IDPs). While current discussions on asylum in Europe focus on how to limit the numbers of refugees reaching our continent, it is important to remember that at global level the largest numbers of people who are “Forced like Jesus Christ to flee” are in fact displaced within their own home-countries.
JRS Europe is worried about the European Commission’s “New Pact on Asylum and Migration” announced today in Brussels. Stopping and screening people at the EU external borders and on swiftly enforcing returns are central in the statements of both Vice-President Schinas and Commissioner for Migration Johansson. “A thorough analysis of the proposed instruments will be needed for a comprehensive reaction” says Claudia Bonamini, JRS Europe’s policy and advocacy officer, “but at first sight it is hard to see how this Pact will enhance refugee protection or even reduce the pressure to manage arrivals for Member States at the EU external borders properly and humanely.”
JRS Europe and its partners invite you to participate in the webinar “Fostering human security and resilience in the future EU-Africa partnership – The role of local communities” on Thursday 15 October 2020 at 11h00 CEST.
The European Union (EU) is currently negotiating the prolongation of the Joint Way Forward (JWF) on migration issues with the government of Afghanistan. The JWF, which is set to expire on 6 October 2020, was signed on the side-lines of the Brussels donor conference in 2016; as is often the case with informal agreements, it was concluded without the involvement of the European Parliament and with no transparent reporting mechanism envisaged for its implementation.
JRS stands in solidarity with the asylum seekers who were living in Moria camp in Lesvos, Greece, and were forced, once again, to leave the only place they could call home. Overcrowded and undignified, the conditions at the Moria camp had risen in the past years as symbol of a European policy that is unable, and even unwilling, to provide decent and safe conditions for refugees.
International Literacy Day reminds us that today there are still over 750 million adults worldwide lacking basic literacy skills. Illiteracy has a devastating effect on individuals’ quality of living. Due to the enormous difficulties they face in daily life activities such as writing, reading a newspaper or navigating the internet, illiterate people struggle to find a job or to fully participate in the society.
In the past two days only, at least 54 people have lost their lives at sea, trying to reach safety in Europe. 45 of them, of whom five children, died in the Mediterranean sea on their way to Italy from Libya. At least eight were reported dead on a boat near the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. A child of 16 was found dead at the French shore, after trying to cross the Channel and reach the UK.
We are extremely concerned at allegations that Malta is complicit in the on-going illegal pushback to Libya of over 100 migrants. Returning migrants to Libya means returning men, women and children to severe human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention, violence and torture, inhumane living conditions, human trafficking and slavery.
The refugee community in Beirut has experienced significant loss. JRS offices and the Burj Hammoud social center and school were all badly damaged as a result of the explosion in Beirut this August. We are raising funds to provide emergency assistance to affected households.