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.
Recent stories
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.
All my bones used to hurt – sleeping on the street
Catania, 27 October 2014 – Once asylum seekers are granted protection in Italy, they leave the Centri di Accoglienza per Richiedenti Asilo (CARA), or centres for the reception of asylum seekers that were set up in 2008, and graduate to accommodation known as Servizio di Protezione per i Richiedenti Asilo e i Rifugiati (SPRAR). This is a system of reception and integration run by the Ministry for Internal Affairs, in collaboration with humanitarian organisations, to offer asylum seekers and refugees accommodation and help to integrate into Italian society.
You have to queue for everything, life at CARA di Mineo
Sicily, 22 October 2014 – When migrants land in Lampedusa or Sicily, the registration process begins. They are accommodated in first-level reception facilities and, once processed, those seeking refugee status are taken to a Centro di Accoglienza per Richiedenti Asilo (CARA), or a centre for the reception of asylum seekers set up in Italy in 2008, to await the decision on their request for asylum.
Wait, wait, wait, the asylum procedure
Sicily, 8 October 2014 – Italy’s asylum procedure was clearly a source of frustration, bewilderment and worry for the people we interviewed. Nothing new in this – asylum seekers in other host countries would say exactly the same about the unfriendly and confusingly bureaucratic systems they trust will deliver the protection they seek.
EU action urgently needed on Italy’s refugee crisis
Brussels, 8 October 2014 – JRS Europe launched its new report ‘Rescued – What Next? Protection seekers stranded in Sicily’ at a policy briefing in the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday. The briefing and discussion drew a clear link between Italian and EU policies on reception conditions for asylum seekers. It called on European decision-makers to work together to find joint solutions to better accommodate and integrate forced migrants.
Europe: Rescued – what next? Protection seekers stranded in Sicily
Brussels, 7 October 2014 – Interviews conducted with migrants stranded in southern Italy expose the failure of European reception systems to uphold principles of human dignity, hospitality and fairness, according to the findings of a new report by the Jesuit Refugee Service.
Safe passage into Europe needed for refugees
Brussels, Rome, 2 October 2014 – A year after the tragic death of nearly 400 forced migrants – men, women, children – off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, tens of thousands of lives have been saved. The details of how close the victims were to the coast spurred the Italian government to act. Proof, if any was needed, of how much can be done when states prioritise life above border security.

Praying with Refugees in Belgium: then the storm died down
Bruges, 1 October 2014 – Detention centres are places where storms frequently erupt, especially in the spirits of anxious, angry and stressed detainees. They feel overwhelmed, as if drowning. Yet in the middle of these dark storms, suddenly something can change. It is difficult to identify exactly what, but something changes their perspective, draws their attention to elements almost lost in the storm. It might be that God is at work.
Middle East: protection of Syrian civilians must be world's priority, humanitarian and human rights groups demand
London, 24 September 2014 – Any further intervention in the Middle East must address the suffering of Syrian civilians, a global coalition of 39 leading human rights and humanitarian organisations said today. Ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, the #WithSyria coalition – comprising Amnesty International, the Jesuit Refugee Service, Save the Children and other – urges world leaders, whoever they support in the conflict, to make clear that they are on the side of civilians.
Pope Francis urges 'globalization of charity and cooperation' to aid migrants and refugees
Vatican, 24 September 2014 – "Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles, and through them he calls us to share our resources, and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches," writes Pope Francis in his annual message ahead of the Jan. 18 World Day of Refugees and Migrants.
Lost in Italy - Kofi's story
Brussels, 15 September 2014 - Migrants who have been rescued from drowning at sea and disembarked in Sicily are too often left in destitution. Big gaps in protection remain and all too often migrants fall through these gaps. Many end up sleeping on the streets of Catania. Kofi's story is symbolic of a failing system. Despite his suffering, he openly shared his story with JRS communications officer, Oscar Spooner, in the hope that it may make a difference.