Jesuit Refugee Service
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is an international Catholic organization with a mission to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and others who are forcibly displaced.
The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) founded JRS in 1980 in response to the plight of the Vietnamese boat people. The then-Superior General of the Jesuits, Fr Pedro Arrupe, was deeply moved by their suffering and felt compelled to respond.
JRS GLOBAL, JRS LOCAL
To this day, JRS continues to support displaced people who undertake life-threatening journeys to seek safety. Drawing inspiration from the Gospel values of justice, compassion and love for the excluded, we understand the term ‘refugee’ to embrace all forcibly displaced people, in line with Catholic social teaching.
Today, as an organization with over 35 years of experience, we are active in 50 countries worldwide (we are present in 18 EU countries) and serve almost 1 million refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. Taking into consideration different needs of people, we act at different levels, from supporting refugees in large refugee camps or towns to taking care of displaced people inside their own countries to advocating for asylum seekers as well as helping people in detention centers.
The international dimension of JRS allows us to be aware of the different asylum systems, legal frameworks and integrations praxis. Exchanging our experiences with other countries helps us find the best and most efficient solutions to help the people we serve. At the same time, those experiences allow us to take part in geopolitical decisions at the EU Parliament and EU Commission level.
JRS operation in Serbia was established back in 1994 to take care of the needs of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons who left their homes during the wars in the Balkans. The office closed in 2001, but was reopened in 2016 to support and help refugees and migrants coming from countries in the Middle East as well as asylum seekers escaping from countries affected by war and looking for safety and protection.