Spotlight on famine crisis in South Sudan
06 August 2014
(Washington, D.C.) August 6, 2014 — Whether the severe humanitarian food crisis in South Sudan is a "phase four humanitarian emergency" or a "phase five famine" does not matter much to the 1.6 million South Sudanese who have been displaced by the political and ethnic firestorm that has torn the world's newest country apart since last December.
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France: is this the same planet?
21 May 2014
Paris, 21 May 2014 – Molly Mullen from JRS International wanted to interview Mohammed about the lodging he found in Paris thanks to the Welcome Network. Instead, she heard about the deep frustration and sadness felt by refugees who seek asylum in Europe.
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Portugal: mental health support against a backdrop of destitution and exclusion
28 November 2013
Lisbon, 28 November 2013 -- Even though Portugal has not historically been a country of destination for refugees, most of the forced migrants served by the Jesuit Refugee Service in the country are in need of international protection. Like recognised refugees, forced migrants escaping extreme poverty frequently struggle with mental health issues, and in the case of forced migrants often become destitute.
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Europe: looking at the alternatives to immigration detention
26 September 2013
Brussels, 26 September 2013 – Endangering the health and well-being of people by detaining them is unnecessary; governments can instead use community-based alternatives that are more dignified for migrants and more cost-effective for states.
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Australia: community detention, a humane alternative
26 September 2013
Sydney, 26 September 2013 – Moved by the plight of vulnerable asylum-seeking minors being held in detention centres, a group of Australian advocates lobbied successfully for the implementation of community detention as a viable, humane alternative, giving asylum seekers an opportunity to engage in a more meaningful existence while awaiting the outcome of their asylum application.
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Ireland: offering support to detained migrant women
10 July 2013
Dublin, 10 July 2013 – "Someone's first reaction to being held in Ireland under immigration detention is one of dreadful shock at being brought to prison – it frightens them", said Sr Majella Dennehy PBVM, who has been making weekly visits on behalf of the Jesuit Refugee Service to migrants held in the Dóchas Centre women's prison in Dublin since 2007.
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Democratic Republic of Congo: between tensions and a desire to re-begin
12 February 2013
Bujumbura, 12 February 2013 – Nearly three months after the crisis, in which the March 23 Movement (M23) occupied Goma for 12 days in a mineral rich region in eastern Congo, the North Kivu capital continues to be marked by uncertainty and danger. The rebels are based at the entrance of the city and tens of thousands of displaced persons are living in camps near the city centre. Meanwhile, negotiations between the Congolese government and M23 rebels are taking place in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
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Asia Pacific: regional cooperation... an impossible dream?
28 December 2012
Bangkok, 28 December 2012 – Millions of refugees and asylum seekers face tough challenges in their struggle to find safety in Asia Pacific. With the lowest number of signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention in the world, this region* offers paltry protection to people on the move. The glaring absence of national asylum laws and standardised procedures for refugee status determination has driven asylum seekers underground.
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Thailand: moving the tides of education in Ranong
13 November 2012
Ranong, 13 November 2012 – The seafood factory on the southwestern coast of Thailand is sometimes ironically referred to as the 'Burmese university in Ranong'. It is one of the only opportunities available to many Burmese migrant children denied an education due to chronic poverty and social pressure.
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Latin America: adversity on the Colombia-Venezuela border
12 October 2012
Bogota, 12 October 2012 – Last month the Jesuit Refugee Service Latin America and Caribbean office began the project, Prevention of violence and restoration of rights of displaced persons and refugees on the Colombian-Venezuelan border; the project is supported by the Alboan Foundation and the Basque government of Spain.
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Global: new guidelines on detention, a step forward
27 September 2012
Brussels, 27 September 2012 – Amid growing concern of the abuse of detention as a way of controlling the flow of asylum seekers, this week the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) published new guidelines for governments dealing with the issue. Although far from perfect from a JRS perspective, this document represents a step forward in the promotion of human rights.
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Colombia: peace negotiations, a ray of hope for refugees
21 September 2012
Bogota, 21 September 2012 – Hope clearly begins to breathe in Colombia after decades of open confrontation between armed groups. For 15 years, victims displaced from the Colombian conflict have longed to return to the homeland they were forced to leave. With the beginning of peace talks between the left-wing guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the government that hope may finally be realised.
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France: what have we done with the right to asylum?
16 July 2012
16 July 2012 – Denise, from Rwanda, was three when her family was wiped out. Going from one refugee camp to another, she crossed Tanzania and found herself in Mayotte, part of the Comoros islands. Mayotte is French territory so when Denise was 18, she was summoned to the National Asylum Tribunal. She dropped everything and went to Paris, only to discover that her hearing had been postponed. Denise was completely alone. Six months later, her application was turned down.
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Tunisia: resettlement is needed for refugees
05 July 2012
Oxford, 5 July 2012 – With Tunisia experiencing wide-ranging political, social and economic change, there is an imperative need to alleviate the burden of hosting people fleeing Libya who are unable to return to their countries of origin.
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Colombia: art in the midst of violence
29 May 2012
Buenaventura, 29 May 2012 – Between the western range of the Colombian Andes and the Pacific Ocean in the region of Valle de Cauca lays Buenaventura – Colombia's principal port city, and also one of its deadliest.
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Colombia: outside the city, a different reality
29 May 2012
Bogotá, 29 May 2012 – It is easier to be optimistic about the humanitarian situation in Colombia from within the confines of the vibrant city centres of Bogotá, Cartagena and Barranquilla. Thriving economies spurred by a surge in foreign investment, reports of a growing middle class and the general warmth of the Colombian people can lull you into feeling that all is well; the nearly 50 years of civil war have been left behind and shadowy illegally armed groups who leave terror in their wake have all but been defeated.
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Rwanda: suspended lives, waiting for a durable solution for Congolese refugees
10 April 2012
Kigali, 10 April 2012 – For 17 years, Congolese refugees in Rwanda have had no choice but to live in three immense, overcrowded camps. Of the 55,000 refugees, many have lived there since birth and know no other life. For some, the idea of a world outside seems as foreign as another planet.
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Cambodia: three reasons why you should lend your leg for landmines
30 March 2012
Phnom Penh, 30 March, 2012 – The idea is to end the destruction caused by landmines within our lifetime. How? By lending a leg, of course.
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Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): national elections, a litmus test of political maturity
28 November 2011
Goma, 28 November 2011 – In the second democratic general elections since independence in 1960, the Congolese people will vote for a new president and parliament today.
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Cambodia: what we decide here affects the lives of people
28 November 2011
Phnom Penh, 28 November 2011 – Speaking to delegates from more than 100 countries Sr Denise Coghlan OSM, director of JRS Cambodia, delivered opening remarks to the Eleventh Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty. In her remarks, she observed the work she and her team have done to ban landmines around the world over the past 20 years and reminded nations of their international obligation to protect their people.
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Venezuela: fleeing generalised violence, grounds for refugee recognition
20 October 2011
Caracas, 20 October 2011– Ninety-five percent of asylum seekers in Venezuela are Colombian women. The reason: the countries share a 2,219km-land border touching seven Venezuelan and four Colombian states all of which face the problem of illegally armed groups.
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Europe: refugee protection – illusion or reality
20 June 2011
Brussels, 20 June 2011 – Since the beginning of the "Arab Spring" and most notably the armed conflict in Libya in mid-February 2011, ten of thousands of persons have tried to escape the escalating violence in North Africa and find protection in Europe. They have often failed. Almost every week, we receive news about a boat carrying refugees having foundered and its occupants drowned.
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Eastern Africa: expanding refugee protection, 60 years after the adoption of the Geneva convention
20 June 2011
Nairobi, 20 June 2011 – Despite the 'temporary nature' of international protection envisaged by the refugee convention, 60 years after its formal adoption, the refugee problem not only still exists, if anything it has become more complex. Over the years the forms of and actors responsible for persecution have changed, exacerbated by political, social and economic injustices, by both state and non-state actors worldwide.
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USA: the 1951 UN refugee convention, 60 years on
20 June 2011
Washington DC, 20 June 2011 – Today, on World Refugee Day, we pause to reflect on the significance of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which commemorates its sixtieth anniversary this year.
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Southern Africa: interpreting the refugee convention, 60 years on
20 June 2011
Johannesburg, 20 June 2011 – Over the last 60 years, the UN Geneva convention has offered millions of individuals fleeing persecution the opportunity to live in safety. The protection it provides is dependant on the person in question meeting a range of criteria as laid out in international law. Before protection can become a reality, these broad tenets must be translated into domestic legislation or policy and implemented. Unfortunately, this frequently fails to happen.
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Latin America: sixty years on from the refugee convention, Cartagena is part of the solution
20 June 2011
Bogotá, 20 June 2011 – Today, the world pauses to commemorate the millions of people forced to flee their homes out of fear of persecution and who are unable to return to the places where they had built their lives.
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The UN refugee convention: still valid?
06 May 2011
Rome, 05 May 2011 – This year, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) marks the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Amaya Valcarcel, JRS International Advocacy Coordinator, considers the aptness of the law to deal with forced displacement today.
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Papua New Guinea: The slow tides of change – West Papuan refugees, 25 years of exile
16 March 2011
Kiunga, 16 March 2011 – After 25 years of exile, these 12,000 West Papuans must decide their future: life in the camp, integrating into their host society, or attempt to free West Papua from Indonesian control and move home.
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Thailand: Accomompanied by God while accompanying refugees
08 February 2011
Mae Hong Son, 8 February, 2011 -- Sr Evelyn de Alba, FI never thought she would be living in Thailand, working in refugee camps “I am amazed at how the Lord has helped me and provided for me,” Sr Evelyn said. “He has put me in the right place at the right time.”
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Thailand: Life for a female Burmese economic migrant
19 January 2011
Bangkok, 19 January, 2011 – Kyaw never expected to be a father. “The mother was raped by a Burmese broker who promised her a job in a factory,” he explained. “He locked her up, raped her and she became pregnant. When her belly became visible she lost her job as a housemaid.”
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Thailand: Living day to day in limbo as a Sri Lankan refugee
13 January 2011
Bangkok, 12 January, 2011 – A family of six sits in their Bangkok apartment, talking about field trips, exams and homework. The oldest daughter smiles as she talks about college brochures.
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Thailand: life for a female Burmese economic migrant
02 December 2010
Bangkok, 2 December 2010 -- Kyaw never expected to be a father. "The mother was raped by a Burmese broker who promised her a job in a factory", he explained. "He locked her up, raped her and she became pregnant. When her belly became visible she lost her job as a housemaid."
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USA: Secure Communities programme alienates
11 August 2010
Washington DC, 11 August 2010 – The Nation's Capital may become the first jurisdiction to reject the "Secure Communities" programme, a federal government programme in which local law enforcement would share booking information with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
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Asia Pacific: the Rohingya, between the devil and the deep blue sea
11 July 2010
Bangkok, 11 July 2010 – In January 2009, the Rohingya hit international media headlines when the world witnessed hundreds of emaciated boat people being rescued off the Andaman Islands of India and in Aceh, Indonesia. They had been intercepted in Thai waters, transferred to deserted islands, tortured and eventually cast away by the Thai military on the high seas, in boats without engines and with little food and water. At least 1000 people were dumped at sea in three separate incidents. Hundreds were reported missing.
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Sudan: building peace through education
28 June 2010
Until recently, most Southern Sudanese had known nothing except war. After a generation of civil war, the five years since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 have allowed the Southern Sudanese to experience the tangible benefits of peace. In that time, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates 320,000 refugees and 50,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned home. Peace has brought marked improvement in education, health, and sanitation. Jesuit Refugee Service has contributed to this development by building schools, supporting teacher training, providing school supplies, and encouraging the education of girls.
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Panama: Colombian refugees in legal limbo
09 February 2010
Washington DC, 9 February 2009 – An in-depth look at the hurdles faced by Colombian refugees in Panama.
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Colombia: believing in the young people of Magdalena Medio
22 May 2009
This article is only available in Spanish
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Colombia: the effects of forced displacement on women
08 March 2009
This article is only available in Spanish
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Colombia: the emperor has no clothes, the situation of child soldiers
12 February 2009
This article is only available in Spanish
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Democratic Republic of Congo: investigation into human rights violations against women and children
13 August 2007
This article only exists in French
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Democratic Republic of Congo: what the international community does not say
06 July 2007
This article is only available in French
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Burundi: the poor don't get sick
11 May 2007
This article is only available in French and Spanish
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Democratic Republic of Congo: pay to learn, clientelism at school
30 April 2007
This article is only available in French and Spanish
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Haiti: May 2005-2006, one year after the mass deportations
17 May 2006
This article is only available in French and Spanish
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