Refugees

Jesuit Refugee Service UK has said the indefinite and arbitrary process of immigration detention is fostering a culture of death, suicide and self-harm, that is causing long-term damage to people’s physical and mental health. In a new report, ‘Detained and Dehumanised: The impact of immigration detention’, JRS say detention has a deep and lasting impact on the individual’s sense of self and humanity and on the way people interact with the world.The traumatic effects of detention stretch far...
Sarah Teather, Director of JRS-UK
Sarah Teather’s talk at the Lauriston Jesuit Centre began with words from Pope Francis that we are called to see the face of Christ who pleads with us for help among those who are fleeing or suffering.She gave us the opportunity for an encounter with this suffering, to understand something of lives which were already incredibly precarious before the outbreak of coronavirus, but which were then transformed to complete crisis. Those people, surviving by moving between the homes of various...
MPs are currently tabling amendments to the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU withdrawal) Bill that would introduce a 28-day time limit on detention, together with judicial oversight of the decision to detain. Can you help JRS UK support the proposed time limit and call for an end to the UK’s system of indefinite immigration detention?  The UK currently has no time limit on detention, uniquely among European countries, and the decision to detain is a purely...
Thanks to the immense efforts of Jesuit Refugee Service volunteers and staff who have made huge strides with their emergency project to get urgent help to those in need during the pandemic. They have now delivered more than 250 essential food and toiletry packages, 200 mobile phone credit top-ups, and are now rolling out a prepaid Mastercard scheme to get emergency hardship grants to people safely. Jesuit parishes can get involved with this work by volunteering, or organising toiletry...
Over 20 front-line facing organisations working with asylum seekers, refugees, and those with irregular immigration status have today called for a grant of a period of ‘leave to remain’ to those with insecure immigration status, to allow them to access the health service and labour market. In a joint letter drafted by the Jesuit Refugee Service UK, the organisations have called upon the Prime Minister to protect public health and the welfare of everyone in society by granting a period of ‘leave...
Refugee immigration status acts as a barrier to vital support during COVID-19; support which JRS UK is working to provide, explains policy officer Sophie Cartwright.It feels as though the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world. These times are challenging and worrying for all of us. And in common with many difficulties, the COVID-19 crisis poses disproportionate risks to those who are already vulnerable. The pandemic poses new risks for JRS UK’s refugee friends, and other people in similar...
Preparing to run the London Marathon for the first time, Alannah Booth, 29, hosted a pub quiz and raffle night in Tooting to raise funds for the Jesuit Refugee Service UK Alannah said: “Moving to London from South Africa, I was welcomed by my friends and family and immediately found myself in a supportive community. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to leave your home and family and arrive to a country only to be met with more difficulties, or to not feel welcomed.”The money...
Sarah Teather, Director of JRS-UK
In the wake of a new report showing that newly recognised refugees continue to face destitution in large numbers, JRS UK has joined other organisations in renewing calls for the “move on” period, in which newly recognised refugees can access asylum support, to be extended.“The costs of destitution: a cost-benefit analysis of extending the move-on period for new refugees” published today by the Red Cross finds significant barriers to accessing support, the job market, and housing for people who...
John Woodhouse - retired choirmaster, organist, librarian and painter - reflects on the inspiration behind the Farm Street art auctionTwo years ago on the Westminster Lourdes pilgrimage the idea of an art auction was born. I duly painted my Lourdes torchlight procession painting (above). I then heard Lord Alf Dubs speak about the appalling conditions in which children were living because they had been denied their lawful right to rejoin their families in the UK. I decided to change the...
In 1876, at the age of 7, the girl was taken by slave traders. She was forced to walk 600 miles barefoot, from her village in Darfur to the Sudanese city of El Obeid, being sold twice along the way. Over the next twelve years she was sold three more times. The trauma of her abduction caused her to forget her own name. Instead, she took a name given to her by the slavers - Bakhita. After converting to Roman Catholicism in 1890 and taking the baptismal name ‘Josephine’, Bakhita became a...

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