JRS Europe – Annual Report 2013
16 June 2014
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.
Despite the Lampedusa tragedy in which nearly 400 people drowned, European leaders have taken no concrete steps to provide safe access to Europe for the thousands of desperate migrants fleeing war and oppression.
And in spite of the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, European countries have sheltered a mere four percent of the three million people who have fled the conflict.
As the Annual Report highlights, the Jesuit Refugee Service has seen acts of great hospitality at a local level through its 14 country offices in Europe.
In France, students played football with asylum seekers and organised communal dinners together. JRS UK organised photography and poetry workshops for refugees in London. JRS Belgium organised a concert for Afghan refugees facing great hardship in Brussels.
Across Europe, JRS remains the only organisation which regularly visits forced migrants in detention. By documenting countless cases and testimonies, JRS has made sure that the voices of the migrants themselves are heard.
“When will these local examples of human warmth, hospitality and kindness be translated into political action?” asks JRS Europe director, Michael Schöpf.
“We will continue to accompany, serve and champion the cause of forced migrants for as long as there is injustice and cruelty in the treatment of refugees in Europe”, he concludes.
We will continue to accompany, serve and champion the cause of forced migrants for as long as there is injustice and cruelty in the treatment of refugees in Europe.