where we work
Italy: those seeking asylum are seeking help from you
Rome, 24 April 2015 – The number of asylum applications in Italy increased by 143 percent in 2014, reaching a new record of 64,886, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Italy annual report. While great strides have been made to accommodate refugees and asylum seekers, more needs to be done by the Italian and European authorities to welcome and integrate the newcomers. During the presentation of the report in Rome yesterday, JRS called for a cultural shift in Europe towards hospitality and solidarity.
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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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South Africa: say no to xenophobia
Johannesburg, 20 April 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) strongly condemns the ongoing attacks and fear of reprisals in KwaZulu-Natal province, Johannesburg and other parts of the country. The shop lootings and direct attacks over the past two weeks have left five people dead and have displaced nearly 2,500 Malawian, Zimbabwean, Mozambican and Burundian, among other, nationals. In a country of 50 million people with high unemployment rates, perpetrators of the violence accuse the five million migrants of taking the jobs from South Africans.
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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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