Jesuit Refugee Service Latest News and Information Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:40:30 GMT Syria: working under principles of neutrality, non-violence and inclusiveness Chicago, 15 April 2014 – Loyola University Chicago and ART WORKS Projects for Human Rights hosted the symposium, 'Sanctuary and Sustenance: Syria and the Plight of Refugees' on Monday, 7 April. Scholars, faculty, practitioners and refugees examined the current political crisis in Syria from a range of perspectives and disciplines. During the day-long symposium Angela Wells spoke on behalf of the Jesuit Refugee Service about humanitarian assistance and religious intervention. Tue, 15 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT Italy: government fails to protect refugees and asylum seekers Rome, 8 April 2014 – The economic crisis in Italy has hit refugees in a particularly harsh manner. Even those who were well on the road to becoming self-sufficient have been forced to seek assistance, according the annual report by the Jesuit Refugee Service in Italy (Centro Astalli). Tue, 08 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT Syria: Jesuit Refugee Service mourns the death of Frans van der Lugt SJ Beirut, 7 April 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria has announced its closure for three days over the tragic loss of Fr Frans van der Lugt. The whole JRS family is deeply saddened and shocked by his sudden death this morning. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT Praying with Refugees: accompanying people in detention Washington DC, 1 April 2014 – In the United States and many other countries, Jesuit Refugee Service actively works to assist refugees and asylum seekers in detention. The use of detention to discourage, control and punish asylum seekers has increased worldwide during the past decade. Each year in the US, some 15,000 people seeking asylum are held in detention. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT JRS Syria receives Pax Christi International Peace Award Rome, 31 March 2014 – The 2014 Pax Christi International Peace Award has been granted to the Jesuit Refugee Service Syria for dedication in providing emergency relief to Syrians since the conflict began in 2011. Established in 1988, the Award honours contemporary individuals and organisations who make a stand for peace, justice and non-violence in different parts of the world. Mon, 31 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT United States: immigration reform needed to end suffering, redeem the nation Washington DC, 20 March 2014 – The US Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, joined by bishops on the border, will travel to Nogales, Arizona, USA from 30 March to 1 April to tour the US-Mexico border and celebrate Mass on behalf of the close to 6,000 migrants who have died in the US desert since 1998. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT Democratic Republic of Congo: the life of a displaced woman, finding the strength to carry on Mweso, 8 March 2014 – Fuelled by competition for rich minerals, war, violence and instability have ravaged the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo for nearly two decades. With the devastation of the economy and infrastructure, impunity has reigned. Sexual and other forms of violence against women, particularly displaced women, are commonplace. Mapendo is just one of the survivors; this is her story. Sat, 08 Mar 2014 06:00:00 GMT Voices of Europe unite to help Syrian refugees Brussels, 7 March 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service, as part of the <a href="" title="European Council for Refugees and Exiles">ECRE coalition</a> of more than 100 NGOs across Europe, has launched <a href="" title="Europe Act Now">Europe Act Now</a> calling on European leaders to protect refugees fleeing the Syrian war. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 06:00:00 GMT USA: the Jesuit Refugee Service stands with Syria Washington DC, 7 March 2014 – The 15 March marks the third anniversary of the Syria crisis. The Jesuit Refugee Service USA is joining #WithSyria, and with millions of people and other organisations across the globe, to shed light on the desperate situation and urge immediate and unfettered access for humanitarian aid to protect the hundreds of thousands of innocent children and families now under siege. The world can no longer remain indifferent to their plight. Fri, 07 Mar 2014 06:00:00 GMT Draft law will not keep conflict resources out of Europe, campaigners warn London, 5 March 2014 – A law proposed by the European Commission on responsible sourcing of minerals is not strong enough to prevent European companies' mineral purchases from financing conflict or human rights abuses, and falls far short of expectations, campaigners said today. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 06:00:00 GMT Praying with Refugees in Southern Africa: redefining our mission in life Johannesburg, 1 March 2014 – One morning I received a visitor to our office, a young woman refugee whom I shall call Ayan*. Sat, 01 Mar 2014 06:00:00 GMT Syria: in conflict, persecution affects Muslims and Christians alike Damascus, 28 February 2014 – Radicalised violence, displacement and poverty affect Syrians of all creeds. In what has always been a complex society, with many layers of social, religious and economic diversity, perpetrators of violence have been able to manipulate this heterogeneity to sow divisions among the population. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 06:00:00 GMT Democratic Republic of Congo: entrepreneurs cycle to make a living Goma, 26 February 2014 — Many people in eastern Congo move from camp to camp in search of safety. This repeated displacement disrupts lives, support networks and family ties. Access to the land is hindered, as is their ability to earn a living. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 06:00:00 GMT USA: NGOs urge government to take proactive measures for peace in South Sudan and Central African Republic Washington DC, 20 February 2014 — Twenty-six organisations, including the Jesuit Refugee Service, recommended a specific series of steps the US authorities take "to ensure that peacekeeping operations in both contexts have the best chance to halt violence, protect civilians, and stabilise" South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:00:00 GMT South Sudan: uneasy calm prevails in Maban Maban, 14 February 2014 – As schools re-opened at the beginning of the month, an uneasy calm prevails in Maban, Upper Nile State of South Sudan. Staff from NGOs, both local and international, have started trickling back to the county, located in the northeastern part of Upper Nile State in South Sudan. Fri, 14 Feb 2014 06:00:00 GMT Philippines: communities displaced yet again by violence Mindanao, 14 February 2014 - Internally displaced returnee communities in Maguindanao and North Cotabato, in the southern Philippines, were forced to flee once again just one day after the signing of the last annex of the Bangsamoro Framework (FAB), the much anticipated peace agreement between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government of the Philippines, on 26 January 2014. Thu, 13 Feb 2014 06:00:00 GMT Syria: people of Homs hungry to lead a normal life, says Dutch Jesuit Rome, 10 February 2014 – Three thousand Syrians trapped in the old city of Homs under a two-year siege and food blockade may finally receive relief after agreements were made on Thursday in the Geneva II talks between government and opposition forces. After two weeks, the negotiations seem to have borne some fruit: an agreement allowing for a "humanitarian pause" in Homs. Mon, 10 Feb 2014 06:00:00 GMT Malta: JRS report, Beyond Imagination, documents human rights abuses of asylum seekers in Libya Valletta, 4 February 2014 – Asylum seekers should not be returned to Libya for any reason whatsoever because their safety, lives and freedoms are at risk. In Libya, they have virtually no chance of getting protection, even now that the Gaddafi regime has collapsed. Tue, 04 Feb 2014 06:00:00 GMT Praying with refugees in South Sudan: a call for peace Tombura-Yambio, 1 February 2014 — The people of South Sudan have experienced far more than their share of suffering. Historians tell us that more than 4.5 million people died in our wars of independence, with similar numbers unaccounted for in past decades. Our nation needs to embrace the past to avoid repeating the mistakes that caused death, suffering and humiliation on a massive scale. I, therefore, appeal strongly for peace in South Sudan, an appeal which comes from deep within me. Sat, 01 Feb 2014 06:00:00 GMT Vatican City: promoting solidarity, acceptance, and signs of fraternity Vatican City, 28 January 2014 – The present day reality of migration in a rapidly globalising world poses a particular challenge for world leaders and citizens alike, according to the annual message, Migrants and Refugees: toward a better world, released by the Vatican last week. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 06:00:00 GMT Thailand: providing vital services to people in detention Washington DC, 27 January 2014 — A grant from the J. Homer Butler Foundation has enabled Jesuit Refugee Service to provide medical care to detainees in Thailand's largest immigration detention centre, IDC Bangkok, which on any given day holds an average of 1,000 detainees. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 06:00:00 GMT Italy: dying to come to Europe Rome, 22 January 2014 <span class="StoryBody">–</span> It’s a shame it took 500 lives, lost within days, to make Europe aware of the danger faced by people who desperately try to reach its territory to seek refuge. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 06:00:00 GMT Global: building communities of hospitality <span class="StoryBody">Mweso, 15 January 2014</span> – One evening, someone knocked at the door of the Jesuit Refugee Service centre in Mweso, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a region plagued by chronic conflict. Sr Paola Paoli opened the door, the guard at her side. She found a group of primary school children accompanied by a woman, who explained that they had fled an outburst of fighting in nearby Kalembe. They hitched a lift on a truck and reached Mweso, where someone told them about JRS. The JRS team took them in, gave them food and sheltered them for the night. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 06:00:00 GMT Burma: education is the way forward Bangkok, 10 January 2014 – When her husband is away, Bo Meh's life is limited to the confines of her palm-thatched home, which leans dangerously over the dusty compound where her two older sons, aged five and three, run barefoot to the neighbour's plot of land, just a few feet away. In the village for internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Noilebeau, Kayah State, Bo Meh has done her best to support her family and to educate herself as well. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 06:00:00 GMT South Sudan: JRS plans disrupted, but not shattered Nairobi, 9 January 2014 – During the first quarter of last year, JRS Eastern Africa moved to and opened projects in Yambio in the South Sudanese state of Western Equatoria and Maban in Upper Nile. In Yambio, JRS supports a community affected by the long years of conflict. A gradual start has seen 12 primary school teachers enrolled in a teacher training college run by Solidarity with South Sudan. Thu, 09 Jan 2014 06:00:00 GMT