News and Stories
Hundreds of migrants and asylum-seekers remain abandoned in northwest Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the wasteland that hosted camp Lipa, erected last year as a temporary accommodation during COVID-19 pandemic and closed down on December 23.
We will always remember the year 2020 as one of the most difficult years we have ever lived. In addition to the extraordinary number of death and sick people, the pandemic has left us with a profound collective experience of vulnerability. Never before our generation had felt so violently our own fragility. And in an unexpected way, these months have reminded us of our fundamental bond as human beings, beyond our social situation, or race, or religion. In a disconcerting way we have all recognized the most profound we are, humans.
The Spanish Jesuit Migrant Service(SJM España) released “Seeking a way out”, the report on the situation at the Spanish southern border in 2020. The report analyses the consequences of the tightening of immigration policies on migrants, including asylum seekers, transiting through the Spanish autonomous city of Melilla, at the eastern coast of Morocco, trying to reach the Spanish mainland.
We were calling for a new narrative about refugees and migrants, one that would emphasise their positive potential for our societies. We were advocating for the correct implementation of existing EU legislation, for the expansion of safe and legal pathways to Europe, and for a true mechanism to share the responsibility to protect refugees among European states. And then Covid-19 came and changed everything… Or not?
In the occasion of the JRS 40th anniversary and of the upcoming 20th anniversary of JRS Belgium in 2021, the Regional Superior of the European Low Countries Marc Desmet sj wrote a letter to present and highlight the great significance of JRS’s work and to warmly thank all those who were and are directly involved with JRS.
On International Volunteers Day, JRS Europe celebrates its amazing volunteers that contribute to JRS’s mission to accompany, serve and advocate for refugees.
As the Jesuit Refugee Service celebrates the fortieth anniversary of its founding by the Servant of God Pedro Arrupe, I ask you to convey my cordial best wishes to those gathered at the Astalli Centre here in Rome, and to all JRS staff and volunteers throughout the world.
On the 3rd and 4th of November 2020, JRS Europe virtually held the 14th Detention Visitors Support Group (DVSG) meeting with the participation of about 30 visitors from JRS offices around Europe. The DVSG is an event designed to support and train individuals visiting detention centres and allow them to share about their experiences.
JRS Romania and JRS Europe join their voices in expressing serious concern about the increasing number of reports indicating that boats with migrants may have been informally returned to Turkey with the participation of EU Border Agency FRONTEX while in Greek territorial waters.