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Spain: legalising human rights violations?
Madrid, 27 March 2015 - The Spanish parliament, yesterday evening, adopted a law that allows for immediate returns of irregular migrants at the borders of the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco. JRS Europe and SJM Spain have serious concerns that the law would legalise 'hot returns' of people in need of protection without providing them with access to the proper procedures. We call upon the European Commission to fully investigate the human rights implications of this law.
   
Spain-Morocco: border violence
Madrid, 24 March 2015 – Together with Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes (SJM), JRS Europe is monitoring events on the Spanish land borders with Morocco very closely. Following interviews with migrants and visits to border posts at the Melilla-Nador border detailed submissions were made to an EU delegation that visited in February. JRS Europe is alarmed by recent border violence and the continued efforts of the Spanish government to legalise push-backs.
   
Humanitarian visas save lives
Brussels, 24 March 2015 - JRS Europe is lobbying for the creation of more safe and legal paths to Europe. Currently, restrictive EU border policy means that people fleeing persecution and conflict often take terrible risks in the hands of smugglers in their attempt to reach safety.
   
Melilla or die
Madrid, 24 March 2015 - It took Abou Deseigne (29) three years to get to Spain from Mali. If you have the right travel documents you can get on a plane in the capital Bamako and be in Madrid in about seven hours.
   
UK inquiry: use of detention must change
London, 3 March 2015 – A landmark report, published today, by a British cross-party parliamentary group concludes that immigration detention in the UK is 'expensive, ineffective and unjust.' The Jesuit Refugee Service in Europe supports the findings of the report and calls for its key recommendations to be followed. Alternatives to detention must be used whilst a maximum time limit on detention of 28-days would greatly reduce human suffering.
   
France: Youth Encounters
Paris, 24 February 2015 - Welcome Project co-ordinator for JRS France, Marcela Villalobos Cid, writes about a new hospitality project focused on youth in Paris. Twice per month, in the chaplaincy of the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, a youth group get together to cook, to discuss and to share. This group is called ‘Welcome Jeunes’ (Youth Welcome), a new project of the Jesuit Refugee Service France.
   
PRESS RELEASE: Lampedusa: Another Tragedy, Europe Must Act
Rome, Brussels, 11 February 2015 – About 300 people have drowned as their rubber dinghies sank in the Mediterranean between Libya and Lampedusa, Italy. This latest tragedy is a twofold demonstration of the failure of European border policy. Not only have European states not taken the necessary measures to save lives in the Mediterranean, they have established a series of ‘legal’ obstacles for those fleeing intensifying conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.
   
Recent stories
PRESS RELEASE: Spain-Morocco Border Tragedy Anniversary
Madrid, Brussels, 05 February 2015 – JRS Europe and SJM Spain call for safe and legal access to Europe one year after 14 people died during a confrontation with Spanish border guards near Ceuta. The Tarajal tragedy serves as a stark reminder that Spain along with other European Union member states are a long way off respecting the human dignity of forced migrants.
     
Call to protect child rights in EU asylum system
Brussels, 28 January 2015 – The individual interests of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the EU must be respected says a new policy paper signed by JRS Europe and six other Christian NGOs. Amendments to the Dublin Regulation must ensure that a child is not subject to long legal delays or arbitrary transfers to countries where their needs will not be met.
     
Former UK Minister for Education to join the Jesuit Refugee Service
Rome, 26 January 2015 – The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is pleased to announce that former education minister, Sarah Teather MP, will join the International Advocacy team on 1 June 2015. As advocacy adviser, Ms Teather will focus on the provision of education for refugee children the Middle East and South Sudan. Ms Teather will stand down from the British Parliament in May 2015, after 13 years in elected politics. For nearly 12 of these years she represented the London constituency of Brent Central, the most ethnically diverse in the United Kingdom. (Photo: Parliamentary Recording Unit)
     
Job vacancy: Advocacy Officer
Brussels, 7 January 2015 – The JRS Europe office in Brussels is currently hiring for an Advocacy Officer. Do you have what it takes to fulfil this dynamic role? Complete and submit the application pack by 30 January 17.30 CET.
     
Malta: 'I have a value, they are doing this for me'
Valletta, 30 December 2014 – Mohammed Idris' contribution is a very personal one. He writes as a refugee who was motivated to join JRS because of the way JRS accompanied him when he was in detention. For Mohammed, his work as a cultural mediator with JRS Malta offered countless practical opportunities to accompany refugees, who often feel lost in a country with a language and culture so foreign to their own. The refugees who need most help are those who are vulnerable, who need to be accompanied with patience and cultural sensitivity.
     
Malta: Care in Captivity?
Malta, 22 December 2014 – JRS Malta has launched a new 20-page report on the provision of mental health care for asylum seekers held in detention centres in Malta. The report entitled ‘Care in Captivity?’ finds several gaps in service provision for vulnerable asylum seekers and contains a number of recommendations on how to improve conditions.
     
Human rights award for JRS Portugal
Lisbon, 19 December 2014 – JRS Portugal has been honoured with a commemorative gold medal for its work with forced migrants. The award was presented by the Portuguese parliament on 10th December, International Human Rights Day.
     
Praying with refugees in England: reborn through generosity
London, 1 December 2014 – Just before Christmas a couple of years ago, I visited a project in East London that supports young unaccompanied migrants. The young people I met that day had been through a great deal. Some had made seemingly impossible journeys, alone, by sea, air and road. Many had lost touch with their families. Some had experienced homelessness and violence, at home, on route and in the UK. Others had been detained and arrested.
     
Upcoming event in Brussels
Brussels, 27 November 2014 – JRS Europe together with the Beguinage parish in Brussels will hold an event on the European refugee policies on 9 December from 7 till 9pm. The evening focuses on the situation of refugees crossing the Mediterranean and suggests possibilities for a better humanitarian response from Europe. Held in the Begijnhof church in central Brussels, the event will conclude with a ceremony for the ‘unknown migrant’.
     
Pope Francis: Solidarity for Refugees
Brussels, 24 November 2014 - On the occasion of Pope Francis’s speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 November, the Jesuit Refugee Service urges European countries to remain faithful to one of the fundamental values underpinning the European Union by showing concrete solidarity with migrants and refugees and ensuring fully-fledged joint search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
     
Without work, what can I do?
Sicily, 21 November 2014 – The single-most urgent need of the migrants we interviewed in southern Italy was to work – even the desire to get a document was closely linked to the possibility this opened up of finding a job afterwards. So much so some of those who were still waiting for a document harboured unrealistic expectations about getting work once they had one.
     
Creating safe pathways to Europe: the toolbox approach
Brussels, 20 November 2014 – Together with six other Christian NGOs, JRS Europe has developed a set of recommendations for safe and legal paths to protection in the European Union. Currently, hundreds of people fleeing war and persecution die trying to reach Europe every month, despite an international legal framework which should ensure human rights and recognize the right to asylum.
     
JRS Europe welcomes new regional director
Brussels, 1 November 2014 – After an intense two-month handover, Jean-Marie Carrière SJ, takes over the reins of the Jesuit Refugee Service Europe network as Regional Director from Michael Schöpf SJ.