Refugees

The Jesuit Refugee Service has described the UK’s decision to stop supporting operations that save migrants at danger in the Mediterranean as ‘nonsensical’ and ‘unconscionable’. The agency was responding to Foreign Office minister Baroness Anelay’s  statement this week that the current search and rescue operations to prevent migrants drowning in the Mediterranean Sea can encourage more people to attempt to make the dangerous sea crossing to enter Europe...
An evening of song, poetry and prayer in Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic and English helped to raise more than £1,700 for the Jesuit Refugee Service’s Aid for Syrian refugees. The Call to Prayer with neighbours from the Middle East took place at Farm Street Church in central London. It brought together poets, singers and musicians from a variety of traditions from the Eastern Rite and Western Churches, as well as friends from the Jewish and Muslim communities.Among the musicians who took...
The Jesuit Refugee Service UK (JRS-UK) has shared its experience of immigration detention with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Refugees and Migration with a view to improving the conditions under which refugees are detained. Chaired by Sarah Teather MP, the APPG invited written evidence from a broad range of stakeholders, including charities and voluntary organisations working with detainees as well as government representatives and civil servants. It also asked for the views of...
The Jesuit Refugee Service in Malta has been named as one of three finalists shortlisted for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014. Meeting yesterday (26 August) in Prague, the panel that selects the prize winner also named B'Tselem, which works in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, defending the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians, and Azerbaijani human rights activist Anar Mammadli.The Václav Havel Award for Human Rights is an international award established in 2013...
The Jesuit Superior General, Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, has appointed Fr Thomas Smolich SJ as the International Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). He will take over from Fr Peter Balleis SJ in November 2015.Fr Smolich has been President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States for the past eight years. He says he is “deeply honoured and grateful” for this appointment “because JRS really speaks to the heart of Jesuit identity and our Jesuit mission. It's going...
The Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK has welcomed the announcement that a cross-party panel of parliamentarians will hold an inquiry into the use of immigration detention. The announcement comes days after the statement by UNHCR that there should be the new global strategy aimed at helping countries move away from the detention of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless people worldwide.“We in the Jesuit Refugee Service have long argued that there are alternatives to detention,” says...
Choosing images for the upcoming JRS photography exhibition
Now in its 16th year, Refugee Week continues to provide a platform where positive images of refugees can be promoted in order to create a culture of welcome throughout the UK. Many of those images have been produced by refugees themselves through a photographic project organised by the Jesuit Refugee Service.Nine would-be photographers from JRS-UK took part in a training course and produced an exhibition of photos which was displayed at the Lumen Gallery in London this summer. It will be...
A new photography exhibition showcasing work produced and curated by a group from Jesuit Refugee Service UK is due to open on 26 June in central London.Come and see…Refugee Voices is being presented in association with Fotosynthesis. Over a period of 12 weeks, a group of nine individuals from different countries with diverse ways of seeing their lives came together to learn new photography skills and to share their perspectives. Their insights and personal experiences shape this...
The work of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria has been recognised with the 2014 Pax Christi International Peace Award. Since 2011, JRS Syria has concentrated on helping vulnerable people who have remained in the country, despite the violence that surrounds them. The award was made at the weekend at the Sarajevo Peace Event 2014.JRS Syria was recognised by Pax Christi in particular for its interfaith work. The agency provides support to anyone in need, with a team made up of people...
The Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Afghanistan has been abducted, JRS International has confirmed. Fr Alexis Prem Kumar SJ was taken by a group of unidentified men in the western part of the country on Monday afternoon, 2 June 2014.Fr Peter Balleis SJ, the Director of JRS International, says they are deeply shocked by Fr Prem’s abduction. “We are in contact with all the relevant authorities and doing everything possible to ensure his safe and speedy return,” he says...

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