Ruth, Cameroonian refugee and Child Protection Focal Point for JRS in Kalambari camp, near N'Djamena, Chad.

JRS ensures the protection and survival of refugees by providing a variety of services and basic necessities.

JRS promotes justice by providing refugees with effective legal and physical protection. The general aim of our protection activities is to minimize the violations of human rights that forcibly displaced people face, not only in their country of origin, but also in the country where they seek asylum. Through our protection services, we focus predominately on the following:

Child protection

Crisis and displacement often put children and adolescents at a high risk of varying forms of abuse, exploitation, trafficking, separation from caretakers, violence, neglect, or military recruitment. JRS works in highly vulnerable areas to ensure children are safe from harm. Through various programs, JRS works with families, local governments, other organizations, and the children themselves. These services include:

  • Foster care arrangement for unaccompanied minors with additional services provided to the foster parents
  • Capacity building for children and adolescents
  • MHPSS services
  • Conducting awareness-raising and advocacy events and sessions

Emergency assistance

The initial phases of displacement are usually the most life-threatening. Refugees often flee with just a few personal belongings or with nothing at all. They also usually find themselves in harsh and inhospitable environments. JRS provides assistance to refugees when emergency aid is needed. Most relief operations are initiated with limited notice and have a short implementation period.

The main purpose of emergency relief is to save lives. JRS ensures the survival of refugees in emergency situations by providing shelter, food, water, sanitation, and non-food items. This can include cash payments for rent and other essentials, the construction of temporary housing, and building wells and latrines. We also work to ensure the protection of children and women, who are especially at risk during emergency situations.

Capacity-building training on gender-based violence (GBV) risks

Legal assistance

We believe that our proximity to refugees is fundamental to understanding their needs and finding appropriate solutions. JRS protection activities takes place at the local level, where our advocacy officers, caseworkers, and lawyers work directly with individuals and families who face discrimination, detention, and lack of access to basic services and fundamental rights.

JRS staff provide information to refugees about the legal and administrative frameworks in the countries of destination. We also provide refugees with information about safe routes, local sources of support, and safety if they are at risk from armed groups or hostile populations.

Our legal teams assist asylum seekers with their applications for refugee status. In places where refugees and asylum seekers are unlawfully detained, we provide legal assistance and advocate for the rights of detainees with the authorities. JRS recognizes the importance of lawful status for refugees, in particular those who are stateless or are at risk of being rendered stateless, due to a lack of proper documentation. We advocate with governments for children to be registered and for the implementation of other mechanisms that lead to lawful status.