where we work
Malta: easy prey
Valletta, 17 April 2015 – The accounts given by the asylum seekers interviewed by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) were strikingly consistent in the details of their ordeal in Libya. The picture that emerged is one of foreigners who felt conspicuous and unsafe everywhere, even at home. They constantly feared that Libyan civilians might report them and that the armed forces or militias would arrest and imprison them for not having the right papers to be in the country. Bitter experience taught them not to trust anyone, be it their landlord, shopkeeper, taxi driver... They saw themselves – with solid justification – as totally deprived of their rights in Libya, and so constantly open to exploitation and abuse, without anyone to turn to for help or redress.
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Malta: don't return migrants to Libya
Valletta, 10 April 2015 – On 9 July 2013, the media learned that the government was planning to send a group of Somali asylum seekers back to Libya on an unscheduled Air Malta flight.
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Praying with refugees in South Sudan: God never fails those who trust in Him
Yambio, 7 April 2015 – For more than three decades South Sudan has been engulfed in a sequence of wars. Generations have been born in exile and refugee camps. Those who survived did so in extremely harsh conditions. Yet as an uneasy peace comes to parts of South Sudan, violence breeding hatred continues in the east and northeast. Nobody should face such injustice.
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Spain: legalising human rights violations
Madrid, 31 March 2015 – Last week, the Spanish parliament adopted a law that allows immediate returns of irregular migrants at the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa. The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and the Jesuit Migrants Service (SJM) Spain have serious concerns that the absence of safeguards will facilitate the 'hot return' of people in need of protection. JRS calls upon the European Commission to fully investigate the human rights implications of the new legislation.
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Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last
Beirut, 20 March 2015 – We rang in the New Year with whatever hope we could muster from inside and out, from our families, our communities, even from our enemies. We scraped it together, and we shared it among us in small rations, barely enough to go around. We prayed and dreamed that this would be the beginning of the end of the horror; that 2015 would put the past four years behind us and bring the long-awaited end to the blood on our hands – the lost fathers, the grieving mothers, the broken children, the destroyed cities and the squandered aspirations.
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Praying with refugees in the Middle East: faith in action
Beirut, 9 March 2015 – At a time of increasing extremism, people drift apart. Consumed by war and subjugated by fear, it is difficult to hold onto hope. As the spectre of violence and terror has crept into all of our homes; we must make a great effort not to give in to despair.
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Africa: structural violence begets sexual violence
Goma, Nairobi, 8 March 2015 – Not only does it cause untold psychological and physical harm to individuals, sexual violence destroys the social fabric of societies. While protection from harm and support for survivors are essential, the elimination of sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) requires the adoption of a systematic approach. Communities given space to work together to change harmful norms and practices, and supported by governments implementing prevention strategies and enforcing judicial sanctions.
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Courageous voices at the Vatican, press conference
Rome, 5 March 2015 – In commemoration of International Women's Day, 8 March 2015, courageous women from around the world make enormous contributions daily to their communities and the societies in which they live.
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Kenya: no tragedy can kill hope
Kakuma, 3 March 2015 – "No tragedy can kill hope. They have taken our homes, but not our future. No matter how bad their past has been, everyone has the right to a future!" said Sylvain Ruhamya Canga in his valedictorian speech at the commencement ceremony of the online higher education implemented by the Jesuit Refugee Service.
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United Kingdom: immigration detention is 'expensive, ineffective and unjust' parliamentary report says
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 (JRS) supports the findings of the report and calls for its key recommendations to be followed. Alternatives to detention must be used, and a maximum detention time limit of 28-days would greatly reduce human suffering.
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