Dispatches
Dispatches is a fortnightly e-mail bulletin of the JRS International Office. It features refugee news briefings, press releases, featured articles and project updates from our people in the field.

JRS DISPATCHES is sent from the International Office of the Jesuit Refugee Service, 00193 Rome, Italy. Tel: +39 06 68977605; fax: +39 06 68977601; Email: dispatches@jrs.net; JRS online: http://www.jrs.net; Publisher: Tom Smolich SJ; Editor: Martina Bezzini Translation: Carles Casals (Spanish), Nicole Abbeloos (French), Simonetta Russo (Italian).



Restrictive EU migration policies force desperate people to take deadly routes
Brussels, 8 June 2016 -- While interior ministers meet tomorrow to discuss EU migration policies, people trying to reach the safety of Europe continue to die en route. Caritas Europa and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe calls on European leaders to alter its restrictive approach to migration. Policies focused on deterrence, including the agreement with Turkey, are not stopping people from trying to reach our countries. Instead, they prolong suffering and push people into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, who find even more dangerous entry routes.
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JRS welcomes Education Cannot Wait fund
Rome and Washington DC, 24 May 2016 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is gratified the international community made a commitment to education Monday at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. The Education Cannot Wait fund follows on the heels of the JRS Global Education Initiative launched last December.
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Education is a life-saving intervention for refugees
Washington, DC, 19 May 2016 -- In the new report Providing Hope, Investing in the Future: Education in Emergencies & Protracted Crises, the Jesuit Refugee Service confirms that education is a life-saving intervention for children and adolescents who are forcibly displaced from their homes. JRS organises educational and recreational activities to heal trauma, promote human dignity, and build skills.
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NGOs urge Government of Kenya to reconsider intended closure of refugee camps
Nairobi, 10 May 2016 -- Despite the huge economic and social pressure, Kenya continues to host close to 600,000 refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries. Fifty-six percent of this current refugee population in Kenya comprises women, children and the youth who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse while in displacement. However, JRS and other NGOs view the recent position assumed by the government of Kenya, which disbands the Department of Refugee Affairs and indicates that this will be followed by the closure of the Dadaab and Kakuma camps, will have unfortunate, far-reaching implications for the thousands of refugees and asylum seekers who have called Kenya a place of refuge.
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JRS and Rotary discuss how to build stronger communities with refugees
Rome, 22 April 2016 – On 29 April, at LUMSA University, Fr Thomas H Smolich SJ, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) International Director, will speak on a panel discussion hosted by Rotary International to discuss the needs and challenges of refugees as well as sustainable solutions. Fr Smolich will speak alongside Carlotta Sami, Spokeswoman of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees office for Southern Europe, and John Hewko and K.R. Ravindran, General Secretary and President of Rotary International respectively, to discuss the theme “Helping refugees to start over.”
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Pope to visit Lesbos, a symbol of hope for refugees
Rome, 12 April 2016 – At a time when hundreds of thousands are risking their lives trying to reach safety in Europe, the Jesuit Refugee Service is very pleased that Pope Francis will visit the Greek island of Lesbos, a major transit point, this Saturday, 16 April, to confront the emergency situation of refugees and the need for international solidarity among governmental and non-governmental actors head on.
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Syria: five years on, time for diplomacy to deliver
Beirut, 13 March 2016 -- "We have reached another sad commemoration; we feel exhausted and with little hope left. A Christian's way of proceeding is never to despair. We must continue to help every single Syrian brother and sister in need, until the massacres end," said Fr Nawras Sammour SJ, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Syria Director, as the Syrian conflict enters its sixth year.
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Syria: five years on, time for diplomacy to deliver
Beirut, 13 March 2015 -- "We have reached another sad commemoration; we feel exhausted and with little hope left. A Christian's way of proceeding is never to despair. We must continue to help every single Syrian brother and sister in need, until the massacres end," said Fr Nawras Sammour SJ, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Syria Director, as the Syrian conflict enters its sixth year.
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PRESS RELEASE: 'What women want' Voices of Faith storytelling event in the Vatican
Vatican City, 4 March 2016 -- For International Women's Day on 8 March, at the Casina Pio IV in the heart of the Vatican, the Voices of Faith storytelling event will take place. With the theme "Mercy requires courage," it will feature and celebrate extraordinary faithful women from nine countries on five continents who exemplify the courage required to live merciful lives.
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PRESS REMINDER: Mercy in Motion -- JRS education campaign for refugee children and youth
Rome, 9 December 2015 – Yesterday, as a concrete sign of commitment to the Jubilee Year of Mercy, JRS launched the Mercy in Motion advocacy and fundraising campaign to expand and strengthen our education programmes. Our goal is to provide educational services to 100,000 more refugees than we currently do by the year 2020.
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Putting Mercy in Motion – JRS launches education campaign for refugee children and youth
Rome, 4 December 2015 – On 8 December, as a concrete sign of commitment to the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) will launch the Mercy in Motion advocacy and fundraising campaign to expand and strengthen our education programmes. Our goal is to be able to provide educational services to 100,000 more refugees than we currently do by the year 2020.
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Poniendo la Misericordia en Movimiento: el JRS lanza una campaña de educación para niñas, niños y jóvenes refugiados
Roma, 7 de diciembre de 2015 – El 8 de diciembre, como un signo concreto de compromiso con el Año Jubilar de la Misericordia, el Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados (JRS) lanzará la campaña de sensibilización y captación de fondos, Misericordia en Movimiento, para ampliar y fortalecer sus programas de educación. El objetivo es proporcionar servicios educativos a 100.000 refugiados más para el año 2020.
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Pope Francis to make his first visit to Africa
Nairobi, 25 November 2015 – Today Pope Francis embarks on his first journey to Africa, beginning his five-day trip in Nairobi before going on to Kampala, Uganda and then Bangui, Central African Republic. Among his many stops, he will be visiting an urban slum, the United Nations, schools, churches, mosques, prayer vigils and a camp for displaced people in Central African Republic, a country still engulfed in inter-communal violence. He will meet with diverse religious leaders, heads of state and other government officials as well as citizens and refugees of varying faiths, ages and backgrounds.
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Pope Francis to advocate for education for refugee children and youth
Rome, 11 November 2015 – On Saturday, 14 November at 12pm, 15 refugees, as well as staff and friends of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), will attend a private audience with Pope Francis. The Pope will speak about the importance of education for refugee children and youth as a means to build peace and foster the development of more resilient and cohesive societies. The event will commemorate the 35th anniversary of JRS, founded by the former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Pedro Arrupe SJ.
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World Refugee Day: push forward, not back
Rome, 15 June 2015 – For World Refugee Day this weekend, the Jesuit Refugee Service urges you to remember that the key to change is within each of us. While governments decide to accept or reject refugees, only we have the power to truly welcome them. We must change our fixed view of refugees as 'the other.'
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Europe: opportunity to prioritise saving lives lost
Rome, Brussels, 24 April 2015 – The EU has yet again failed to prioritise saving the lives of people fleeing conflict and persecution. The Jesuit Refugee Service sincerely hopes last night's European Council decision to increase resources to Frontex will lead to improved 'search and rescue' of forced migrants crossing the Mediterranean. But JRS fears the consequences of the raft of measures designed to prevent forced migrants from gaining access to the protection they are so desperately seeking.
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Europe: save lives now! No more deaths in the Mediterranean
Brussels, Rome, 21 April 2015 – As the death toll in the Mediterranean reaches record proportions, Europe's first priority must be to implement a full-scale search and rescue operation. Saving human life must come first. Europe should follow the example of Italy. Now is the time for extraordinary action.
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Afghanistan: Indian Jesuit released after eight months in captivity
Rome, 22 February 2015 – After more than eight months in captivity, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is delighted by the announcement of the release of Fr Alexis Prem Kumar. JRS is immensely grateful to the Indian government for its role in achieving his release.
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Italy: another tragedy, Europe must act
Rome, Brussels, 11 February 2015 – About 300 people have drowned as their rubber dinghies sank in the Mediterranean between Libya and Lampedusa, Italy. This latest tragedy is a twofold demonstration of the failure of European border policy. Not only have European states not taken the necessary measures to save lives in the Mediterranean, they have established a series of 'legal' obstacles for those fleeing intensifying conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.
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Press notice: Syria: rocket attacks target civilians in Aleppo and Damascus
Rome, 5 February 2015 - The Jesuit Refugee Service is extremely alarmed by the escalation in attacks on Aleppo and Damascus in the last few days. These indiscriminate attacks are targeting densely populated civilian areas. The level of violence in Damascus has reached unprecedented levels. The international community must take urgent action to protect the lives of civilian populations.
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Spain-Morocco border tragedy anniversary
Brussels, Madrid, 5 February 2015 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and the Jesuit Migrant Service (JMS) Spain call for safe and legal access to Europe one year after 14 people died during a confrontation with Spanish border guards near Ceuta. The Tarajal tragedy serves as a stark reminder that Spain along with other European Union member states are a long way off respecting the human dignity of forced migrants.
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Former UK Minister for Education to join the Jesuit Refugee Service
Rome, 26 January 2015 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is pleased to announce that former education minister, Sarah Teather MP, will join the International Advocacy team on 1 June 2015. As advocacy adviser, Ms Teather will focus on the provision of education for refugee children the Middle East and South Sudan. Ms Teather will stand down from the British Parliament in May 2015, after 13 years in elected politics. For nearly 12 of these years she represented the London constituency of Brent Central, the most ethnically diverse in the United Kingdom.
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Emergencies and new conflicts leave the forcibly displaced hungry
Rome, 16 October 2014 – While forcibly displaced persons make up only a tiny portion of those suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition, the rise in conflict-induced displacement is putting serious strains on the capacity of the international community to meet the basic food needs of those fleeing conflict. Nothing better illustrates the hardship faced by refugees and internally displaced persons than the on-going conflicts in Syria and South Sudan, and the protracted refugee crisis in Chad.
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JRS report: Rescued – what next? Protection seekers stranded in Sicily
Brussels, 7 October 2014 – Interviews conducted with migrants stranded in southern Italy expose the failure of European reception systems to uphold principles of human dignity, hospitality and fairness, according to the findings of a new report by the Jesuit Refugee Service.
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Europe: EU rules impede asylum protection
Brussels, 04 June 2013 – Asylum seekers in Europe are often faced with EU rules that hinder their ability to seek asylum in an EU country where they would feel most protected. This is according to a new JRS Europe report, Protection Interrupted, released today. The report is based on interviews with 257 asylum seekers and migrants in nine EU countries.
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