Meeting Refugee Needs: the International Response
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Meeting Refugee Needs: the International Response
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Objectives: Students will be able to:

1. Explain the roles of UNHCR and the U.S. State Department in meeting needs of refugees and forcibly displaced people.
2. Explain the need of durable solutions for refugee populations.
3. Identify five U.S. humanitarian organizations that work with refugees.
4. Re-state the mission of Jesuit Refugee Service in their own words.
5. Distinguish between the work of JRS and the work of relief agencies.  


Study the mission of Jesuit Refugee Service, comparing it to the other humanitarian organizations identified. (Appendix VIII)
• Explain JRS involvement in seeking durable solutions, such as voluntary repatriation, local integration and resettlement.
• Identify regions in which JRS works.
• JRS Message for World Refugee Day 2012.
• Can you provide humanitarian aid without facilitating conflicts? (The New Yorker, Oct. 2010)



• Jesuit Refugee Service Annual Reports.
• JRS: A More Personal Approach (Everybody's Challenge, pages 68-69)
• Horizons of Learning, 25 years of JRS Education
• Reflections of William Yeomans S.J. (Everybody's Challenge, pages 82-84, 144-147)
• God in Exile (JRS, 2005)
• They Come Back Singing (Gary Smith S.J., 2008)
• This Our Exile, A Spiritual Journey with the Refugees of East Africa (James Martin S.J. 1999)
• UNHCR Annual Reports
• Spotlight on Zimbabwe and South African Refugees (2008)


• Bill Clinton on Rebuiding Rwanda (TED, 2007)
• Haiti's Disaster of Engineering — a talk by the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group that describes their mission to help Haiti’s builders learn modern building and engineering practices, to assemble a strong country brick by brick. (TED, 2010)
• Digital Humanitarianism — a brief look at how digital technology can change the way humanitarian organizations operate. (TED, 2012)


• Source for more immigration information.
• Doctors without Borders


• Accompaniment — how JRS accompanies refugees. 
• Advocacy — how JRS/USA works to obtain durable solutions for forced migrants in the U.S. 
• Serve — how JRS/USA serves refugees and forcibly displaced migrants. 


• Review the criteria for refugee resettlement to the U.S.
• Contact a local chapter of one of the identified refugee organizations and volunteer. 
• Learn the requirements needed to work for a humanitarian organization. 
• Comment on a recent news article published by JRS/USA
• Follow Jesuit Refugee Service/USA on Facebook and Twitter
• Watch / perform the refugee play originally created by Sacramento Jesuit High School based on the testimonies of refugees and experiences gathered by Jesuit Refugee Service over the years.


• Small group interaction — students discuss and evaluate the seven major functions of JRS in refugee camps. See Appendix VIII.
• Evaluate the report on Sri Lanka (See Appendix IX.) What is the message contained therein? Is it as a message of despair or of hope? 
• Small group interaction – student assessment of resettlement programs in the U.S. 

Concluding Thought

The international response to refugees is evolving to attempt to improve protection and assistance to broader categories of people in need.

We have new approaches to IDPs, the concept of the "duty to protect" broader categories of what constitutes a "social group" (persecuted women), discussion of environmental "refugees," protection for victims of trafficking, etc.

Despite setbacks caused by post 9/11 security concerns, the church's definition of refugees as encompassing all forced migrants is gaining ground. (Please refer to the Appendix for a full discussion of this evolution.)