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The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)
is an international Catholic organisation with a mission to accompany,
serve and advocate on behalf of refugees and other forcibly displaced
persons. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with
the support of an international office in Rome. Founded in November 1980
as a work of the Society of Jesus, JRS was officially registered on 19
March 2000 at the Vatican State as a foundation.
are found in 50 countries, providing assistance to: refugees in camps
and cities, individuals displaced within their own countries, asylum
seekers in cities, and to those held in detention centres. The main
areas of work are in the field of education, emergency assistance,
healthcare, livelihood activities and social services. At the end of
2013, more than 900,000 individuals were direct beneficiaries of JRS
More than 1,400 workers contribute to the work of JRS,
the many of whom work on a voluntary basis, including about 78 Jesuits
and 66 religious from other congregations. These figures do not include
the large number of refugees recruited to take part in the programmes
as teachers, health workers and others.
JRS is also very much
concerned with advocacy and human rights work. This involves ensuring
that refugees are afforded their full rights while in exile and during
repatriation as guaranteed by the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the
Status of Refugees and working to strengthen the protection afforded
to internally displaced persons (IDPs). It extends to lobbying for and
promoting international human rights legislation, either through
participation in international campaigns and coalitions or through
membership of international fora, such as the UN Economic and Social