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Growing concerns over conditions for refugee children in Europe
Brussels, 12 February 2016 – According to UNICEF there is an increasing number of both accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children arriving to Europe. As of 11 January this year children accounted for one out of every four migrants crossing the Mediterranean many travelling without their parents or caretakers. JRS calls upon Europe to ensure that these children are properly cared for according to their best interests.
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A hope that knows no borders
Journeys of Hope dispatch number one (10 February 2016): It is their sheer relief and hope that are most striking… more than their foolhardy courage, the dangers and deprivations of their journey, and their terrible experiences.


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JRS Portugal raises funds for refugees in Lebanon
Lisbon, 05 February 2016 – JRS Portugal has received about 100,000 euros to support educational projects developed by JRS Lebanon in the Bekaa valley in the scope of a fundraising campaign taking place in Portugal from the beginning of October.
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JRS Greece: hard conditions for asylum seekers in Athens
Athens, 29 January 2016 – Despite the winter cold and rough seas people continue to take great risks to reach Greece from Turkey. JRS is present on Lesbos and in Athens welcoming and accompanying new arrivals.
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Lebanon: JRS offers hope through education
(Beirut) 22 January 2016 – Gharam, a 14-year-old girl who fled to Lebanon from Syria with her family to escape her country’s civil war, longs to return home. But in the meantime, a Jesuit Refugee Service school she attends in her host country – which has welcomed about 1.5 million Syrian refugees since war erupted in the Syria in 2011 – has been a welcome oasis in an otherwise turbulent world.
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Ireland: civil society calls for refugee welcome
Dublin, 15 January 2016 - In mid-December Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Ireland joined with 21 leading NGOs to launch a new report – Protection, Resettlement and Integration: Ireland’s Response to the Refugee and Migration ‘Crisis’.
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Vatican City: Pope Francis speaks out for World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Vatican City, 12 January 2016 – Yesterday, Pope Francis spoke out for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be celebrated on 17 January. In his speech, "Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy," the Pope says that refugees and migrants are "people whose dignity is to be protected and who are capable of contributing to progress and the general welfare."
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Recent stories
Common action needed - unilateral border controls not the answer
Brussels, 7 January 2016 - JRS Europe is concerned at the recent news that Sweden has felt the need to reinstate identity checks at its border with Denmark. Sweden has a long tradition of protecting refugees and defending human rights. Indeed, in 2015 the country received the highest number of refugees per capita in the EU. Civil society and NGOs like JRS Sweden have been welcoming and done much hard work to welcome the new arrivals.
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Refugee 'guides' in Stockholm
Stockholm, 14 December 2015 – The Jesuit parish in Stockholm accommodates twenty refugees two nights a week, in conjunction with other parishes. JRS is also working to accompany refugees with around 50 volunteers organised to be mentors for them, facilitating cultural exchange and understanding. JRS Sweden director Marc-Stephan Giese SJ shares some experiences from the project so far.
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Volunteers find joy and gratitude helping refugees in Croatia
Zagreb, 08 December 2015 – We spoke to some of our volunteers in Croatia during International Volunteer Day.
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Putting Mercy in Motion – JRS launches education campaign for refugee children and youth
Rome, 4 December 2015 – On 8 December, as a concrete sign of commitment to the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) will launch the Mercy in Motion advocacy and fundraising campaign to expand and strengthen our education programmes. Our goal is to provide educational services to 100,000 more refugees than we currently do by the year 2020.
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Editorial: People on the move
Brussels, 03 December 2015 - This editorial from our latest newsletter was written before the recent building of fences along many European borders. However, people searching for safety will always find ways to move, even if they are dangerous. Here, regional director Jean-Marie Carrière offers new perspectives on the so-called refugee crisis in Europe.
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New JRS project in Hungary
Budapest, 27 November 2015 - After several months of planning and coordination with JRS Europe a new project has started in Budapest. The main activities are accompaniment and awareness raising.
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Beach notes from Lesbos, Greece
20 November 2015 - Under UNHCR coordination and working with Caritas and other NGOs, JRS has sent a team of volunteers to Mytilene on the island of Lesbos and to other border areas, where refugees are arriving and leaving in great numbers. Here, JRS Hellas director Maurice Joyeux SJ shares some first-hand experiences from the island.
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If you stay, you never know if you’ll stay alive
12 November 2015 - A Syrian refugee tells JRS his story of fear, flight and desperate search for protection in Europe. The interview takes place on Skype. HB is in the kitchen of the centre he shares with other refugees in Germany. He is busy chopping up a chunk of meat they received, and readily shares his experience.
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Top Jesuits call for solidarity with refugees
Brussels, 19 October 2015 – Hospitality and generosity should be at the centre of our response to the increased arrivals of refugees in Europe, say a group of leading European Jesuits in a statement released today. The statement acknowledges work done over past decades with refugee and migrant communities by Jesuits and those working with them and calls for renewed energy and vision in building active solidarity and hospitality with forced migrants.
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EU: ensuring international protection must be priority
Brussels, 14 October 2015 – The European Council’s meeting on 15-16 October will focus mainly on preparing the Valetta Summit to be held on 11-12 November. JRS Europe welcomes this initiative as it is necessary to enhance dialogue with African countries and discuss issues surrounding forced migration and displacement. However, EU political leaders should not turn a blind-eye to the material and protection needs of refugees and asylum seekers.
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Letter to British PM: put people before politics
London, 07 October 2015 - The head of the Jesuits in Britain, Fr Dermot Preston SJ, has written to the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to urge a change in policy towards refugees in the light of the current crisis in Europe and the Middle East. JRS Europe warmly welcomes this initiative of the Jesuits in Britain and supports the letter’s message of hospitality and compassion.
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JRS SEE helping refugees in Croatia
Zagreb, 01 October 2015 – JRS South East Europe communications officer Marinela Vidic-Ivos reports on the JRS response to new arrivals in the country. After Hungary completed its barbed wire fence along its border with Serbia people travelling through the Balkans began arriving in Croatia. JRS SEE was there to provide assistance in the reception centre near Zagreb from midnight 16-17 September when the first group of forced migrants arrived.
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Interview: director of JRS Portugal
Lisbon, 18 September 2015 – Director of JRS Portugal for the last eight years, André Costa Jorge, took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with us about the European refugee crisis and the local response. JRS Portugal, which has long accompanied and supported forced migrants, is now leading the way in preparing for the arrival of almost 5,000 Syrians and Eritreans under the latest EU relocation plan.
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