Jesuit Refugee Service Latest News and Information Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:42:30 GMT 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. Thu, 05 Mar 2015 06:00:00 GMT 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. Tue, 03 Mar 2015 06:00:00 GMT 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. Tue, 03 Mar 2015 06:00:00 GMT International: 48 organisations endorse a joint statement for the World Humanitarian Summit Rome, 2 March 2015 – Together with organisations such as Christian Aid, Caritas International, the Islamic Relief Worldwide, and the International Rescue Committee, the Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) calls on humanitarian actors and states in conflict regions to "re-affirm their commitment to respect and to promote the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, towards any stakeholders involved in humanitarian crises." Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:00:00 GMT Democratic Republic of Congo: promoting education in Masisi Masisi, 24 February 2015 – "To me education is about dignity. It's about giving children – who have nothing – a way to engage in the society around them and do something with their lives besides contribute to the violence that surrounds them," explains Sr Esperance Hamuli, Education Coordinator with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Masisi. Tue, 24 Feb 2015 06:00:00 GMT 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. Sun, 22 Feb 2015 06:00:00 GMT Praying with refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo: education as hope Kashunga, 16 February 2015 – Moambi's white blouse gleams bright in the morning sun of Kashuga. She beams with pride in her new school uniform – she gets to attend high school after two years of staying at home. Mon, 16 Feb 2015 06:00:00 GMT Democratic Republic of Congo: International Red Hand Day – education provides alternative to joining armed groups Goma, 12 February 2015 – "I went because there was nothing else to do." Thu, 12 Feb 2015 06:00:00 GMT Australia: disturbing report on child detention presents opportunity for change Kings Cross, 12 February 2015 – The latest report on asylum-seeking children in detention demonstrates the extreme failure of the Australian government's refugee policy. However, this presents an opportunity to implement long-overdue changes, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service. Thu, 12 Feb 2015 06:00:00 GMT 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. Wed, 11 Feb 2015 06:00:00 GMT Kenya: bicycles facilitate counselling in Kakuma camp Rome, 9 February 2015 – Kakuma camp hosts more than 170,000 refugees, mainly from Somalia and South Sudan. After fleeing violence and famine at home, refugees arrive to Kakuma in need of food, shelter and security, among others. Often suffering from loss and trauma, specialised psychosocial support is in big demand, particularly due to recent influxes of Somalis and South Sudanese refugees. Yet the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is currently the only organisation in the camp providing psychosocial support. Mon, 09 Feb 2015 06:00:00 GMT Spain-Morocco border tragedy anniversary Brussels, Madrid, 5 February 2015 – The Jesuit Refugee Service and the Jesuit Migrant Service 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. Thu, 05 Feb 2015 06:00:00 GMT 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. Thu, 05 Feb 2015 06:00:00 GMT 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. (Photo: Parliamentary Recording Unit) Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT Syria: water, the simplest gift of all Homs, 16 January 2015 – Since the ceasefire for the Old City of Homs was signed early in 2014, Homs has no longer occupied the news headlines from Syria. Recovering and restoring the Old City to any semblance of its former self will take years of reconstruction. In the meantime, those who are able to, have returned to their homes to try rebuild what has been destroyed and reclaim their property. Fri, 16 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT Kenya: protection needs increase with refugee influx Kakuma, 14 January 2015 – Without the opportunity to integrate into Kenyan society due to a strict encampment policy and with low chances of resettlement, most refugees in Kenya spend years living in refugee camps. While they are provided a physical space free from war, camps are not necessarily free from human rights abuses, particularly sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Wed, 14 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT South Sudan: if you think education is expensive, try ignorance Maban, 13 January 2015 – When South Sudan became the world's youngest country in 2011, the literacy rate was a mere 27 percent. To improve this statistic, the education ministry of South Sudan set a high goal: reduce the illiteracy rate by 50 percent by 2015. Tue, 13 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT Praying with refugees in the Central African Republic: children suffering an endless nightmare Bangui, 1 January 2015 – The long-forgotten and -neglected crisis consuming the Central African Republic (CAR) for the last 30 years has spiralled out of control, and the most vulnerable pay the heaviest price. Since 2013, this already fragile country, unable to survive the fall of François Bozize regime, has succumbed to a dictatorship under multiple armed groups which have established a climate of terror and atrocity. Thu, 01 Jan 2015 06:00:00 GMT Zambia: the value of accompaniment Lusaka, 18 December 2014 – Friendship and compassionate companionship with the most vulnerable provide a powerful type of humanitarian service giving priority to personal accompaniment. Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT South Africa: the contribution of faith-based organisations working with the displaced Johannesburg, 11 Decemeber 2014 – Faith-based organisations take from their religious traditions both strong motivations and access to a long history of thinking concerning social and political issues. This can make them ideally placed to fill the gaps in the implementation of human rights. Thu, 11 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT South Sudan: Khartoum auxiliary bishop underlines the importance of education and hospitality to refugees Maban, 11 December 2014 – In a visit to the conflict-affected region of South Sudan, Bishop Daniel Adwok underlined the importance of education and hospitality for refugees living in the border district Maban. Thu, 11 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT Syria: cries for peace Beirut, 2 December 2014 – On the day the United States announced they would conduct air strikes against militants in Iraq, a Syrian woman here asked a Jesuit Refugee Service staff member a seemingly simple question: "Do you think a Syrian life has less value than anyone else's?" Tue, 02 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT Praying with refugees in England: reborn through generosity London, 1 December 2014 – Just before Christmas a couple of years ago, I visited a project in East London that supports young unaccompanied migrants. The young people I met that day had been through a great deal. Some had made seemingly impossible journeys, alone, by sea, air and road. Many had lost touch with their families. Some had experienced homelessness and violence, at home, on route and in the UK. Others had been detained and arrested. Mon, 01 Dec 2014 06:00:00 GMT France: Pope Francis visits European Parliament Berlin, Brussels, London, Paris, Rome, Valletta, 24 November 2014 – On the occasion of Pope Francis’s speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 November, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) urges European countries to remain faithful to one of the fundamental values underpinning the European Union by showing concrete solidarity with migrants and refugees and ensuring fully-fledged joint search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Mon, 24 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT Australia: shutting the door in the face of a global humanitarian crisis Rome, Yogyakarta, 21 November 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) observes with deep sadness yet another sudden retroactive change in Australian government policy towards people seeking international protection in southeast Asia. Yesterday, the government of Australia announced its decision to stop the resettlement of refugees who had registered with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Indonesia on or after the 1 July 2014. The number of refugees resettled by Australia from Indonesia will also be further reduced in 2015. Fri, 21 Nov 2014 06:00:00 GMT