Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic organisation with a mission to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and others who are forcibly displaced.
The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) founded JRS in 1980 in response to the plight of the Vietnamese boat people. The then-Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr Pedro Arrupe, was deeply moved by their suffering and felt compelled to respond.
To this day, JRS continues to support displaced people who undertake life-threatening journeys to seek safety. Drawing inspiration from the Gospel values of justice, compassion and love for the excluded, we understand the term ‘refugee’ to embrace all forcibly displaced people, in line with Catholic social teaching.
About this campaign
In the past years, migration and asylum have been prominent issues in the wake of national elections and will undoubtedly remain as such in the upcoming European elections. Moreover, asylum and migration issues have unfortunately often been used to disseminate fear among European citizens.
Alarmed by this trend and especially, by the current discourse based on intolerance and populist anti-migrant sentiments, JRS Europe and JRS offices across Europe call upon citizens in the EU to vote for a Europe that protects the rights of those who are seeking refuge in Europe; for a Europe that ensures dignity by creating humane and dignified reception facilities for people in need of protection; for a Europe that upholds the right to freedom of all people by ending detention and exploring alternatives to detention. Finally, we call on people to vote for a Europe of equality in which integration of all citizens, including asylum seekers, refugees and forced migrants, is a reality.
The European Parliament will continue playing a crucial role in the lives of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants by influencing the decision-making process on migration and asylum. People in Europe should use their power of voting to shape a Europe that works for all.
This Project is funded by the European Parliament.