Articles tagged with: Refugee

Introduction

on Wednesday, 27 April 2016. Posted in Issue 78 The Search for Refuge

PdfIconIntroduction

John Guiney SJ and Eugene Quinn

During 2015, in excess of one million refugees and migrants risked their lives in crossing the Mediterranean Sea to enter the European Union. More than 3,700 people, one quarter of them children, died by drowning during the attempt. Europe’s experience of increased forced migration is just one element of a global phenomenon of  escalating displacement of people, as a result of conflict, persecution, extreme poverty, and other human rights violations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there are now, worldwide, almost 60 million displaced persons, the highest number since World War II. 

Time to Act: Implementation of the Report of the Working Group on the Protection Process

on Wednesday, 27 April 2016. Posted in Issue 78 The Search for Refuge, Poverty & Inequality

PdfIconTime to Act: Implementation of the Report of the Working Group on the Protection Process

Eugene Quinn

Introduction

The Statement of Government Priorities 2014–2016, which was issued by the Fine Gael and Labour Party Coalition Government in July 2014, included a commitment to ‘treat asylum seekers with the humanity and respect that they deserve ... [and] reduce the length of time the applicant spends in the system ...’.1  

This commitment came against a background where the Irish system of Direct Provision for asylum seekers was featuring regularly in the media, with reports from around the country of protests, enforced transfers, hunger strikes and calls for the closure of accommodation centres. The growing concern about the Direct Provision system was encapsulated in a comment by the then Minister of State with special responsibility for New Communities, Culture and Equality, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD, who said: ‘None of us can stand over it, it’s just not acceptable’.2 

In mid-September 2014, a roundtable consultation was held by the government ministers with responsibility for the operation of the asylum and immigration systems in Ireland to hear the concerns and analyses of NGOs working in the area. Subsequently, in October, the Government established a Working Group which was asked to undertake the first comprehensive review of the protection process, including the Direct Provision system introduced in 2000, and report back to Government with recommendations.3

The EU Refugee and Migrant Crisis: A Shared Responsibility

on Wednesday, 27 April 2016. Posted in Issue 78 The Search for Refuge, Poverty & Inequality, International Issues

PdfIconThe EU Refugee and Migrant Crisis: A Shared Responsibility

David Moriarty

Introduction 

We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery! The boats landing daily on the shores of Europe are filled with men and women who need acceptance and assistance. (Pope Francis)1

During 2015, over one million migrants and asylum seekers risked crossing the Mediterranean Sea in unsafe boats in an attempt to enter the territory of the European Union. For many, though, this hazardous journey led not to the possibility of a new life in a place of safety and opportunity but tragically to their death: over 3,700 men, women and children, including in some cases several members of the same family, died by drowning while attempting to cross into Europe.  

Asylum and immigration systems categorise people seeking entry from other states as ‘asylum seekers’, ‘refugees’, ‘forced migrants’, ‘economic migrants’. Yet it is important to remember that first and foremost these are people – people who share the same human condition that we do, who share the same hopes and dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. Behind the numbers and statistics are people with names and faces. 

The Refugee Convention Sixty Years On: Relevant or Redundant?

on Thursday, 15 December 2011. Posted in Issue 68 After the Housing Bubble, International Issues, Housing Policy

Introduction
Sixty years ago the international community agreed a framework for the protection of refugees, when a diplomatic conference in Geneva adopted the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Today, the protection of those compelled to leave their own state, and seek asylum in another, continues to present formidable challenges. The scale of those challenges, and the perceived inadequacies of the Refugee Convention’s response to them, have led some critics to argue that the Convention is now outdated, unworkable and irrelevant.1

 

Living in Direct Provision: Resident Voices

on Thursday, 09 June 2011. Posted in Issue 65 JRS: 30 Years of Serving Refugees

Elizabeth O'Rourke

December 2010

Living in Direct Provision: Resident Voices

Asylum seeking women receiving English language certificates - © JRS IrelandIntroduction
2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the policies of Direct Provision and Dispersal.

Direct provision is a scheme for individuals and families seeking asylum or other forms of protection, which provides accommodation on a full board basis and aims to directly provide all basic daily needs of asylum applicants. Dispersal is a policy whereby asylum applicants, after an initial short stay in Dublin to process their asylum application, are sent to one of 51 state provided accommodation centres located throughout 19 counties. While awaiting a decision on their asylum claim applicants are not eligible for child benefit, do not have a right to work and have limited education rights.

The World Mobilised: The Jesuit Response to Refugees*

on Thursday, 09 June 2011. Posted in Issue 65 JRS: 30 Years of Serving Refugees

Mark Raper SJ

December 2010

The World Mobilised: The Jesuit Response to Refugees

Refugee camp, Ogujebe, Uganda - © JRS International*This article is adapted from the first Annual Pedro Arrupe SJ Lecture hosted jointly by Jesuit Refugee Service and ISIRC (Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Religions and Cultures, Pontifical Gregorian University).

Introduction
Three core insights came together for Fr Pedro Arrupe SJ when he launched Jesuit Refugee Service 30 years ago this week. The first compelling factor was his compassion for the refugees in their suffering. He wrote to the Society on 14 November 1980 ‘…last year, struck and shocked by the plight of thousands of boat people and refugees, I felt it my duty…,’. For Arrupe the refugees were ‘signs of the times’, a feature of his historic time that compelled a compassionate response. Second, having been Superior General already for 18 years, he had a strategic sense of how the Society worked and what it was capable of: its mission, structure and strengths. Third, Pedro Arrupe had confidence in the goodwill and resourcefulness of the many partners willing to share in the same mission – ‘the active collaboration of many lay people who work with us’.

Bridging the Protection Gap: Immigration Detention and Forced Migrant Destitution

on Thursday, 09 June 2011. Posted in Issue 65 JRS: 30 Years of Serving Refugees

Philip Amaral

December 2010

Bridging the Protection Gap: Immigration Detention and Forced Migrant Destitution

Destitute Migrant in European capital - © JRS EuropeIntroduction
Asylum and migration has been at the forefront of European Union policymaking for many years, but especially so during the last decade. The gradual enlargement of the Union and the disappearance of internal borders has obliged national governments and EU institutions to fundamentally re-think how refugees and migrants are welcomed into European society. Indeed, these factors have led to a legal restructuring with EU-wide implications.

‘Frontloading’: The Case for Legal Resources at the Early Stages of the Asylum Process

on Wednesday, 18 November 2009. Posted in Issue 62 Who Will Pay for Recession?

Elizabeth O’Rourke

November, 2009

pdf icon‘Frontloading’: The Case for Legal Resources at the Early Stages of the Asylum Process 

Introduction

In 1992, fewer than fifty people came to Ireland seeking asylum. From 1995, however, there was a rapid increase in the numbers applying for asylum, reaching a peak of 11,634 in 2002. Following the Citizenship Referendum of 2004 and subsequent legislative changes, and consistent with underlying trends internationally, the number of asylum applications fell significantly. By 2008, applications had declined to a total of 3,866 for the year, representing a 2.9 per cent decrease on the total of 3,985 in 2007, and a 200 per cent reduction on the 2002 figure.1

Ireland’s Asylum System – Still a Shambles?

on Monday, 05 February 2007. Posted in Issue 54 Immigration and Integration: Realities and Challenges, 2007

February 2007

Peter O’Mahony

Introduction
Having worked overseas for more than ten years, I returned to live in Ireland in 1997. In the years during which I was away, both the pace and the scale of change in this country were significant; over the subsequent decade, however, they have been even more dramatic.

Nowhere has this been more evident than in the area of migration. Ireland, long seen internationally as a country of huge emigration, with, a mere generation ago, outflows in some years of more than 50,000 people, is now a country of substantial inward migration, both forced and voluntary.

Working Notes Issue 51 Editorial

on Monday, 12 December 2005. Posted in Issue 51 Refugees and Asylum Seekers: No to the Silence of Indifference!, 2005

December 2005

Editorial

This issue of Working Notes commemorates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). The mission of JRS is ‘to accompany, advocate and serve’ refugees and displaced persons across the world. The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice works closely with JRS Ireland in a joint integration project, Community Links, funded by the European Refugee Fund, and in public advocacy and lobbying on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers in relevant areas of policy.

To Detain or Not To Detain?

on Friday, 09 December 2005. Posted in Issue 51 Refugees and Asylum Seekers: No to the Silence of Indifference!, 2005

December, 2005

TO DETAIN OR NOT TO DETAIN?
Eugene Quinn and Renaud de Villaine


"Eugene Quinn is Director of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice and Acting National Director of JRS Ireland. Renaud de Villaine is Policy and Advocacy Officer for JRS Europe"

In January 2004, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, heavily criticised the policies of the European Union towards refugees and migrants. In a speech to the Members of the European Parliament, he spoke of ‘offshore barriers’ and of ‘refused entry because of restrictive interpretations’ of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. He said that asylum seekers are ‘detained for excessive periods in unsatisfactory conditions’.1

Jesuit Refugee Service: The Challenge 25 Years On

on Friday, 09 December 2005. Posted in Issue 51 Refugees and Asylum Seekers: No to the Silence of Indifference!, 2005

 

December 2005

The Challenge 25 Years On
John Dardis SJ


John Dardis SJ is the Irish Jesuit Provincial and was formerly Regional Director for JRS Europe

The Jesuit Refugee Service was set up twenty-five years ago by Father Pedro Arrupe, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, at a time when the people fleeing Vietnam in boats were high profile on our TV screens. Now the JRS works in over thirty countries on five continents. Former JRS-Europe Director, Fr John Dardis SJ, who is current head of the Jesuits in Ireland, reflects on the Irish situation and the international challenge.



A Challenge to Solidarity

on Friday, 09 December 2005. Posted in Issue 51 Refugees and Asylum Seekers: No to the Silence of Indifference!, 2005

December 2005

Refugees:
A Challenge to Solidarity
Cathy Molloy

Cathy Molloy is a Research Officer in the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice


Introduction
The Christian understanding of solidarity is one of the fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching and is often the basis on which action towards, and with, people in situations of need is promoted. Solidarity, in this understanding, goes beyond a \'feeling of vague compassion, or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people, both near or far\' and calls for \'a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each individual because we are all really responsible for all.1

Deportation

on Friday, 09 December 2005. Posted in Issue 51 Refugees and Asylum Seekers: No to the Silence of Indifference!, 2005

December 2005

Deportation
Joan Roddy DMJ


"Sr Joan Roddy DMJ is Director of the Refugee and Migrant Project of the Irish Bishops\' Conference"

Today, for many of us, the mention of return, removal, or deportation, conjures up thoughts of dawn raids on people\'s homes and rushed midnight air flights. Swift enforced departures, with little or no forewarning, are accompanied by hasty packing, frequently under Garda surveillance, with no chance to communicate this unexpected turn-of-events to friends, neighbours, church or school, much less say good-bye. For some parents, it has meant family break-up where they have had to leave behind small children. Those of us who watched that RTE Prime Time programme which showed one such experience cannot but have been moved to see the grief of mothers and the trauma etched on the faces of their children. What-ever the arguments, it is difficult to believe that there is not a better alternative than a procedure which leaves parents on one continent and their young children on another, thousands of miles away.