The Right to Dignity

Thirty years ago, on 14 November 1980, Fr. Pedro Arrupe founded the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in response to the plight of the Boat People fleeing Vietnam.

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JRS Ireland Have Moved

JRS Ireland have moved office to The Mews, 20 Gardiner Street Upper, Dublin. All other contact details remain the same.

Living with Dignity Seminar

A seminar to mark the start of Social Inclusion Week,

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End of Successful Summer Programme

The JRS Ireland Summer Programme ended on 20th August with a trip to Funtasia Water Park in Drogheda.  This brought to an end a very successful six week programme of activities which included fashion design work shop, swimming, arts and crafts and trips to the beach, was museum, aquarium and park and the annual family fun day in Mountjoy Square.  JRS Ireland would like to thank our volunteers for all their hard work and dedication.

Limerick Sixes Soccer World Cup

Launch of Limerick’s first intercultural soccer festival!

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Nail Biting World Cup Final

JRS Ireland entered two teams in a 5-a-side Mini World Cup held in Bushy Park on Saturday 1 May.

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Matteo Ricci 1610-2010

Celebrations to mark the 4th. centenary of the death of Matteo Ricci  (1610 – 2010)

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Easter Egg Hunt

The JRS Ireland Easter Egg Hunt took place in Mounjoy Square Park on Easter Sunday, 4th April, from 1 – 3 pm.  Thanks to the brief but welcome good weather there was a huge turn out, with about one hundred and twenty children and adults.  The egg hunt was over in a matter of minutes as the eighty or so children raced around the park quickly gathering up the donated chocolate Eggs.  The hunt was followed by creme egg and spoon, three legged and hopping races for under 5s and older children.  Face painter, Maria Markey-Greene of Marvellous Faces, was kept busy all day as was the Balloon Artist, Bevan.  Maria has been supporting JRS events for a number of years now and her art work is much admired. On Sunday she filled the park with frogs, rabbits, mice, tigers and a few spidermen.  JRS Ireland would like to thank all of their supporters who donated Easter Eggs, half of which were distributed to families of asylum seekers living in direct provision in Dublin and the remainder were used for the Egg Hunt.  We look forward to another sunny Easter in Mountjoy Square Park next year.

Living in Limbo. Forced migrant destitution in Europe

Today Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe releases a report on destitution of forced migrants in twelve EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Ukraine). The report shows that it is not fate but policies of states that completely exclude certain groups of migrants from any official assistance and leave them in distress and penury. Access to housing, health care, education, welfare and work are especially worrisome. The policies across the different states are not coherent: But they are violating the human rights of the affected migrants and cause severe social problems. The EU must develop laws that ensure respect of human rights for everybody regardless of status.

During the research for this report, JRS met a group of irregular migrants in a park in Spain. They were six young men all from Burkina Faso who had been in Spain for between three months and one year. Some spoke Spanish very fluently.. All of them were undocumented. Their aim was to work and earn enough money to support their families and to eventually return. In Burkina Faso they had no perspective but in Spain they only could find odd jobs such as car washing. They lived on the streets, in parks, some in apartments of friends. They did not receive any social assistance. “We are in an impasse”, one of them said, “without perspectives neither in Burkina nor in Spain.”

Whereas the situation differs to some extent from one Member State to the other, several common threads can be discerned throughout Europe. “States have adopted laws and policies that to a large extent exclude certain groups of migrants from access to basic social rights”, says Stefan Kessler, Senior Policy Officer with JRS Europe. “Destitute migrants have no or very limited access to public goods and services under law in terms of health care, employment, housing, financial support and material assistance such as food and clothing. Even if access to goods and services is guaranteed under law, it is often denied in practice due to complex administrative procedures, unclear laws and lack of knowledge of the service providers. Furthermore, many destitute migrants who stay illegally on the territory fear detention and removal and for this reason do not try to gain State support.”

Migrants become stuck in a downward spiral of destitution. It affects their physical and mental health. The risk of being pushed into depression or ending up on the streets is very high.

JRS Europe recalls that human rights apply to every person, regardless of nationality or legal status. The policies of EU Member States are clearly violating these human rights of the affected migrants and cause severe social problems.

JRS appeals to governments of EU Member States to immediately change their policies in order to ensure that everyone has access to basic social rights such as housing, education, social assistance or work. The European Union, in turn, must develop stricter regulations forcing governments to guarantee access to those rights. In particular, the European Parliament is encouraged to set up an investigation into the situation of destitute forced migrants in the EU Member States and publicly take a firm stance on this issue.

The report can be accessed at http://www.jrseurope.org/news_releases/ANDES%20report2010.htm.

JRS Ireland Presents ECDL Certificates

On Friday the 12th March 4 students from the JRS Computer Class received certificates for passing ECDL exams (European Computer Driving Licence). 

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