Jesuit Refugee Service Latest News and Information Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:29:16 GMT Chad: Darfur refugees find hope in education Washington, DC, 30 June 2015 – In Djabal refugee camp, just outside the town of Goz Beida in eastern Chad, the Jesuit Refugee Service is expanding our partnership with Jesuit Commons Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM) and has started a new programme in the camp that will eventually offer an online, university-level diploma programme. Tue, 30 Jun 2015 05:00:00 GMT United States: legal challenges facing Central American migrants Washington, DC, 22 June 2015 – In recognition of World Refugee Day on 20 June, the Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and 13 Jesuit law schools announce A Fair Chance for Due Process: Challenges in Legal Protection for Central American Asylum Seekers and Other Vulnerable Migrants. The report highlights Jesuit law school efforts to assist Central Americans in need, and challenges faced in delivering these services. Mon, 22 Jun 2015 05:00:00 GMT Kenya and Italy: we choose hope Rome, 20 June 2015 – "Opposing the war in Vietnam, Martin Luther King Jr, said 'a time comes when silence is betrayal,'" writes Kenyan refugee Antony Mukui. "That time has come regarding the refugee crisis. The time has come for all of us to not only speak up, but to act and 'Push forward, not back.'" Sat, 20 Jun 2015 05:00:00 GMT South Africa: shining a light in xenophobia's darkness Johannesburg, 19 June 2015 – If it were not for ignorance, Qamar and Ali's home and business would still be standing today. Ignorance to what these two men – and others seeking refuge within South Africa – went through led people to loot and ransack their shops. This ignorance strips us of our empathy and allows myths regarding migrants to persist. Fri, 19 Jun 2015 05:00:00 GMT Australia: any door will do when you're in danger Kings Cross, New South Wales, 18 June 2015 – Following the decisions by Indonesia and Malaysia to provide temporary refuge for 7,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshi forced migrants pending "resettlement and repatriation" by the international community, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's response to the question of resettlement of some of these people in Australia was "nope, nope, nope." Thu, 18 Jun 2015 05:00:00 GMT Kenya: journey to self-reliance Nairobi, 17 June 2015 – As countries around the globe continually implement policies to push back and exclude migrants and refugees, they are missing out on a vital opportunity to push their communities forward. Kenya is no exception. Wed, 17 Jun 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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.' Mon, 15 Jun 2015 05:00:00 GMT Praying with Refugees: education enables self-sufficiency Washington, DC, 3 June 2015 – "Education is a key in combating the evil of hatred, violence and war," says the Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Peter Balleis SJ. "It is important to get [displaced and refugee] children into school. It is important to keep learning, it is a form of healing in the midst of conflict." Wed, 03 Jun 2015 05:00:00 GMT Asia Pacific: NGOs sign a joint statement calling for regional cooperation to address the migrant crisis Bangkok, 29 May 2015 – Representatives from 17 Asian states as well as the USA, Australia and Switzerland, met today in Thailand at the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean to discuss the regional migrant crisis. With 600 non-governmental and civil society organisations, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) signed a joint statement "welcoming the decision of the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand to provide temporary protection to refugees and migrants rescued at sea," but urging the states to provide further assistance and protection to migrants in need. Fri, 29 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT South Sudan: seeds of peace at crossroads of displacement Maban, 20 May 2015 – "Today in Maban many different ethnic groups work together, stay together, eat together and play together to develop our community. We are one nation, the same people, so let us be together," said Awad, a community leader in this border county with Sudan. Wed, 20 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT Malta: No Giving Up! Stories of unfinished journeys Valetta, 18 May 2015 – No Giving Up, a publication launched by JRS Malta last week at an event at San Anton Palace under the patronage of her Excellency Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, recounts the experience of six Somali women who are seeking asylum in Malta. Mon, 18 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT South Africa: marching in solidarity Johannesburg, 15 May 2015 – Xenophobic attacks this year condemned by the government and civil society did not come as a surprise to those with an interest in migration. South Africa has been experiencing waves of xenophobic attacks, the most devastating in 2008 which killed 62 people. With seven casualties just last month, South Africans are marching together calling for peace. Fri, 15 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT Praying with refugees in South Africa: why Catholics should be concerned about xenophobia Johannesburg, 4 May 2015 – It is now three months since a wave of looting of migrant-run shops began in Snake Park, in the urban Soweto area of Johannesburg, and other parts of the country. The violence culminated two weeks ago in Durban leaving five people dead, many more injured and an estimated 2,500 people displaced and reliant on churches, mosques and the city for survival. Mon, 04 May 2015 05:00:00 GMT Nepal: Jesuits respond to earthquake Rome, Washington DC, 30 April 2015 – Last Saturday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal has left more than 5,000 people dead, 10,000 injured, thousands more homeless, and untold numbers isolated in remote villages. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, numbers are expected to rise as aid workers and search and rescue teams access remote areas closer to the epicentre of the earthquake. Thu, 30 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT Thailand: fire sweeps across refugee camp Rome, 27 April 2015 – More than 1,000 refugees, mostly minors, lost their homes on 7 April after a fire destroyed much of Ban Mai Nai Soi camp in the Mae Hong Son province, Muang district, northwest Thailand. Although no lives were lost in the fire, believed to have been the result of a cooking accident, wide scale damage in the camp includes the destruction of a Buddhist temple, three offices, a primary school and 186 homes. Mon, 27 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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. Tue, 21 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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 two million migrants of taking the jobs from South Africans. Mon, 20 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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. Tue, 07 Apr 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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. Tue, 31 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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. Fri, 20 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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. Mon, 09 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 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. Sun, 08 Mar 2015 06:00:00 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