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Other JRS Publications
JRS Publications
This section provides access to a variety of publications from Jesuit Refugee Service and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. You can find annual reports; The Refugee Voice, our quarterly report on issues affecting refugees and forcibly displaced people; books by and about JRS; and Recommended Reading, a selection of interesting books and articles recommended by JRS/USA staff.


Musical Artists Shine Light on Refugee Crisis

In October, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA plans to continue to shine the spotlight on the facts driving today's unprecedented refugee crisis, and as on the need to support refugee education. We are bringing together some of America's most thoughtful and beloved artists for Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees


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Investing in the Future: Education in Emergencies Cannot Wait
As a leader in the field of refugee education, JRS has observed that education provides stability and a sense of normalcy, and acts as a form of vital psychosocial support to children whose lives have been affected by crisis. Education also plays a critical role in preparing individuals and their communities to recover and rebuild after conflict or disaster. It is an important tool in promoting and ensuring greater peace and rehabilitation following an emergency situation.

JRS knows that individuals and families who are displaced due to conflict are often not able to return home or find permanent refuge for a number of years. In fact, UNHCR estimates that the average length of displacement for a refugee is 17 years, making education an even more important investment. New generations are born and raised as refugees and education offers a long-term solution and hope for their futures.


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I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me
Jesuit Refugee Service calls for a just and generous response to all people seeking refuge in Europe and the Middle East. The conflict in Syria enters its sixth year this month, with no end in sight. It has resulted in the death of at least one quarter of a million people and the displacement of more than 12 million. Jesuit Refugee Service is working to aid these most vulnerable people.
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Working toward peace through education in South Sudan

Through our education programs, JRS has been accompanying and serving refugees and internally displaced people in southern Sudan — now the independent country of South Sudan — since 1992. Schools provide hope, and education creates a culture of peace that enables refugees to ease their resettlement and integration into their new countries of refuge, or — the hope of so many — to return home as leaders of their communities to help rebuild their countries.


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Finding solutions for legal challenges facing asylum seekers

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and U.S.-based Jesuit law schools have been engaged in efforts to respond to the number of children and families from Central America seeking protection, and are jointly committed to collaboratively expanding efforts to address this critical issue. "This initiative is rooted in the Catholic and Jesuit principle of welcoming the stranger, and I can think of no more fundamental lesson to teach our law students," said Professor Daria Fisher Page of Georgetown University Law Center.


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Syria cries for peace
Coordination in Syria and the surrounding countries between JRS, Jesuit networks, local Christian and Muslim groups and secular organizations, and services delivered by other networks of organizations help civilians receive much needed support, present levels of assistance are far from being sufficient to meet the escalating needs. The international community has not adequately supported the network of local Syrian groups engaged in humanitarian initiatives, a situation that needs to be urgently corrected.

While visiting the region earlier this year, Pope Francis said, "Peace must be looked for and built together through small actions every day." These words capture the profound longing for peace from the people of the Middle East, and are the message that JRS staff, their families and local communities wish to send to the international community.


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Serving refugees in the Horn of Africa
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) noted that during 2013 the "population of concern" in Ethiopia rose from about 379,000 to 436,000. Most of these refugees arrived at Dollo Ado, a dry and dusty region in the desert southeast near the border with Somalia and Kenya.

Jesuit Refugee Service has programs for refugees in three locations in Ethiopia. In the capital, Addis Ababa, JRS serves urban refugees. In the northeast, JRS serves refugees from Eritrea at Mai Aini refugee camp. In the southeast Dollo Ado region, JRS serves refugees from Somalia at Melkadida and Kobe refugee camps.


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Outreach program shares JRS mission
We created an Outreach Program here at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA to directly engage students and parishioners in our work, and, via tools and initiatives created for them, to let them experience the difficulties facing refugees and forcibly displaced people. The JRS/USA Outreach Program seeks to inspire the next generation of advocates by empowering students at high schools and colleges across the country to make their voices heard. To accomplish this, we aim to spread awareness and to mobilize energized groups around education, advocacy, volunteering, and fundraising efforts.
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Dialogue is the Solution in Syria
(London and Washington, D.C.) December 15, 2013 — The Syrian tragedy has been deepening for almost three years. What started as a call for reforms by some Syrians has escalated into a full-scale conflict. Today the conflict involves radical, extremist elements and foreign involvement on both sides. Meanwhile the broader international community has not yet succeeded in creating the necessary conditions to halt the tide of bloodshed despite the desperate pleas of a majority of Syrians for an end to the conflict.  

One third of the Syrian population is now in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Those forcibly displaced either within the country or across the borders total nearly eight million people. It is as if all New Yorkers had to empty their city in order to seek safety and security. Another two and a half million people — those who could not or would not flee — are living below the poverty line; they cannot afford enough food for their families and are unable to buy lifesaving medicines, only available on the black market at exorbitant prices.


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Refugees in Panama Face
Long Road to Stability

(Washington, D.C.) September 4, 2013 — Despite the ongoing peace negotiations between the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest guerilla group, displacements both within the country and across international borders have not slowed. Newly arrived refugees in Panama report recent threats and attacks by guerillas, neo-paramilitaries and other armed groups.

Supported by a grant from the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, JRS Panama administers several programs to help refugees. Counseling, humanitarian assistance, income generating activities, legal aid and advocacy on detention and asylum issues are some of methods JRS uses to help these vulnerable people. Read an expanded version of this story online to learn more about the work of JRS in Panama. 


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Striving for a brighter future in Colombia
(Washington, D.C.) February 20, 2013 — Colombian refugees and internally displaced people are the frequently forgotten victims of a 50-year-long conflict between paramilitaries, guerillas, and the Colombian military and security forces. Jesuit Refugee Service supports a negotiated resolution of the armed conflict in Colombia and advocates for policies that will lead to a just and sustainable peace. 

JRS programs in Colombia include strengthening human rights protections, psychosocial accompaniment, and community building. JRS pays special attention to the needs of children and young people, as they are frequently targeted by armed groups and forcibly recruited into the conflict. 

Read the full story here, or download the attached PDF.

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Here I was Born: Stateless Dominicans Seek Recognition
(Washington, D.C.) March 8, 2012 — People of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic face threats to their human rights and well-being stemming from Dominican government policies that seek to deny or strip citizenship from the children or grandchildren of Haitian migrants.
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Refugees in Urban Environments
(Washington, D.C.) July 11, 2011 — In this issue of The Refugee Voice we speak with refugees in Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa, and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to learn how very different circumstances have led JRS to take different approaches to meeting their needs.
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Colombian Refugees in Panama and Ecuador (PDF)
(Washington, D.C) March 25, 2011 — The plight of Colombian refugees and displaced persons is the most persistent humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere; it may also be one of the most ignored in the world. In just the last two decades, the nearly 50-year-long armed conflict among guerillas, paramilitaries and the Colombian armed forces has resulted in the targeted persecution and internal and cross-border displacement of more than five million Colombians.
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The Spirit of JRS: Accompaniment (December 2010)
(Washington, D.C.) November 14, 2010 — It is now 30 years since the founding of Jesuit Refugee Service. In that time, countless JRS staff and volunteers from all over the world have responded to the call of Fr. Pedro Arrupe to reach out with hearts and hands to help people displaced by war, persecution, man-made and natural disasters and unbearable poverty. Many of those who responded to these needs were refugees themselves, or local people directly confronted each day by the plight of the displaced. Others, however, felt the call from afar, often traveling halfway around the world to touch the lives of people they otherwise would never have known. What motivated their gifts of service? What would the act of accompaniment come to mean to them? In commemoration of our anniversary year, we spoke with Americans who have worked with JRS over the years to ask them about their experience and how refugees have changed their lives.
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Peace through Education in Southern Sudan (August 2010)
(Washington, D.C.) August 1, 2010 — Since the signing of a peace treaty, some 320,000 refugees and 50,000 internally displaced persons have returned home to Southern Sudan. Re-establishing their communities has been no easy task. There is little modern infrastructure in the country, as development was stalled by more than twenty years of war. Returning refugees have had to relearn the skills of subsistence farming, growing cassava, maize and beans in the rich red soil, often competing for land and water with those people who stayed behind during the conflict. Gradually, peace has made possible the beginnings of improvement in education, health, and sanitation, although much remains to be done. 


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Haiti Chérie - Dear Haiti - Ayiti Cheri (May 2010)
(Port au Prince) May 1, 2010 — Because JRS has worked in Haiti since 1999, we were able to begin providing emergency aid to victims within hours of the earthquake. This effort was soon supplemented by an outpouring of aid from our highly organized JRS office in the Dominican Republic, which quickly ferried food, water and medical supplies across the border for distribution to survivors. Thousands of other Jesuit friends, associates and institutions also instantly responded to this crisis. The outpouring of generosity from young schoolchildren, college students, parishioners, as well as Jesuit provinces and communities, was overwhelming.
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Urban Refugees: Hidden in Plain Sight (March 2010)
From the beginning, Jesuit Refugee Service has made it a priority to work with “forgotten” refugees – those living in the shadows – whose plight is overlooked by others. It may seem strange that many of these marginalized refugees live not in remote border camps but right under our eyes in city settings. Barely tolerated, often homeless or living in shantytowns of cardboard and tin, these urban refugees live a truly hand to mouth existence. Despite neglect and intolerance, the number of urban refugees is only increasing. A new UN policy affirming the rights of refugees to live where they choose, and the obligation of states to protect them now offers new hope. In this issue of The Refugee Voice,we explore the plight of urban refugees and how JRS is trying to help.
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Alleviating Pain on the Border (August 2009)
(Nogales, Arizona) August 1, 2009 — Some of the most forgotten and the most vulnerable people in the United States are those migrants held in federal immigration detention centers pending deportation. The vulnerability of these people does not end with deportation, however; many of the migrants we encounter at the newly inaugurated Kino Border Initiative (KBI) in Nogales, Mexico, find themselves stranded in the border town far away from their homes and families, with few options or resources to plan for a future life in Mexico or Central America. To help these forgotten people, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and five partner organizations officially launched the Kino Border Initiative in the twin cities of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico and Nogales, Arizona, U.S.A., in January. 



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Education: A Crying Need (May 2009)
Although education is often not seen as an emergency activity, the re-establishment of schooling for children is frequently among the most immediate concerns of communities who have suffered displacement. The universal drive of refugees to ensure the education of their children even in the most desperate of circumstances is a monument to the human spirit. In our effort to respond to the needs of newly displaced people, it is not uncommon for JRS staff to arrive at remote refugee encampments to find makeshift blackboards erected under trees and children copying letters with sticks in the sand. For refugee parents and children, education represents both a return to normalcy and an expression of hope in the future.
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Addressing the Needs of Refugees with Disabilities (January 2009)
(Washington, D.C. January 1, 2009 — When a mental or physical illness affects a person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, it becomes a disability. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, poverty is often the cause of disability, and disability in turn can result in poverty. Refugees are particularly at risk of incurring a disability both because, like Paul, they are often the survivors of or witnesses to acts of violence during the course of their displacement, and also because they lose their homes and possessions, becoming impoverished as a result of their flight. The harsh conditions refugees face while in exile often exacerbate existing disabilities or cause new ones to develop. These same conditions can make identifying and assisting those with disabilities a challenge.
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Colombian Refugees Seek Recognition and Renewed Dignity in Ecuador (September 2008)
(Washington, D.C.) September 1, 2008 — Ecuador is home to the largest refugee population in Latin America, nearly all of them Colombian nationals seeking safety from persecution. Colombian refugees are the frequently forgotten victims of a 40-year-long conflict between paramilitaries, guerillas, and the Colombian military and security forces.
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Old Hopes and New Dreams: Bhutanese Refugees Ponder the Challenge of Resettlement (May 2008)
In a dramatic reversal of fortune, Bhutanese refugees who have been exiled in camps in eastern Nepal for seventeen years have been offered the chance of a new life through resettlement. These refugees were expelled from Bhutan in 1992 in a move intended to rid Bhutan of an ethnic minority whom the government viewed as a threat to national unity.
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No Refuge: Haitian Refugee Women in the Dominican Republic (February 2008)
Haiti shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Although both countries struggle economically, the disparity in wealth and development between the Dominican Republic and its environmentally devastated, impoverished and politically unstable neighbor has spurred thousands of Haitian migrants and asylum seekers across the Dominican border.

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The Human Cost of U.S. Immigration Detention (November 2007)
Each year, more than a quarter million people are held in U.S. immigration detention. The vast majority of these people are incarcerated for administrative convenience. They are not serving criminal sentences, nor facing criminal charges. Some are refugees, who have entered our country in exercise of their legal right to seek asylum. Despite this, detainees are confined behind bars or barbed wire, separated from their families, deprived of basic freedoms and subjected to demeaning treatment. The growing use of detention is expensive, inhumane, and unnecessary. Reforms are needed to reduce the use of detention, to improve conditions for those detained and to mitigate the serious effects of detention on American families.
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Voices of Colombia's Displaced (June 2007)
Hundreds of thousands of Colombian men, women, and children have disappeared or been murdered during Colombia's long history of civil strife. The deaths of citizens are both calculated and the result of uninvolved campesinos being caught in the cross-fire between careless and ruthless armed groups.
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