JRS has made a significant impact on the lives of refugees around the world
Around the World in 2018
677,804 people were served worldwide and 55,597 in Asia Pacific
236,839 people were served worldwide in education programmes
16,657 were served in livelihoods programmes
JRS was present in 56 countries worldwide and 8 countries in Asia pacific
Delivering Significant Change
1 in every 100 refugees worldwide were served by JRS.
4,725 people benefited from education programs in Myanmar.
799 people were provided with financial assistance in Indonesia.
347 people benefited from livelihoods programs in the Philippines.
Protracted displacement on The Thai-Myanmar border
Since the 1980s
There are more than 90,000 refugees living in 9 refugee camps in Thailand. Most refugees are ethnic minorities from Myanmar who live in the refugee camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. They have been fleeing conflict and crossing Myanmar’s border to seek safety for nearly 30 years.
JRS is working in 2 camps in Mae Hong Son Province, where it maintains access to education in 15 schools to approximately 4,000 students, and is building the capacity of the teachers. With higher chance for the refugees to return soon to Myanmar, it is essential for them to be able to integrate schools in Myanmar. JRS also accompanies Catholics through sacramental and catechesis services, and serves the other communities in the form of friendship groups, pastoral care, and assistance to orphans.
1997 and ongoing
As a result of the Khmer Rouge conflict, Cambodia is one of most heavily contaminated countries in the world, with landmines, cluster munitions and other unexploded weapons. Since 1979, they caused death and injury to over 64,000 persons and are still causing one every week nowadays. These unexploded weapons also continue to block safe access to land that could be used for agriculture and schools.
In 1990, JRS began its activities in Cambodia to promote reconciliation and peace in the wake of the brutal Cambodian civil war. JRS organized a vocational training program for people with disabilities, many of whom had lost arms, legs and eyes from landmines. JRS Cambodia also played a key role in the work of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) that led to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, an achievement for which the group shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia are hosting numbers of asylum seekers and refugees from various nationalities who seek protection and assistance outside of their home countries. However, these countries are not signatories to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and their lack of national frameworks to protect refugees and asylum seekers leave many in highly vulnerable situations as they are considered illegal migrants. They are therefore denied the fundamental right to protection.
JRS is working in these 3 countries and more particularly with urban refugees in Thailand and Indonesia where it provides financial assistance, psychosocial support and education opportunities.
Global Compacts Advocacy
The Global Compacts on Refugees (GCR) is a unique opportunity to strengthen the international response to large movements of refugees and protracted refugee situations. It builds on existing international law and standards, and seeks to better define cooperation to share responsibilities. The Global Compact represents the political will and ambition of the international community as a whole for strengthened cooperation and solidarity with refugees and affected host countries.
The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is an intergovernmentally negotiated agreement covering “all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner”.
JRS Australia participated actively in the advocacy on the global compacts at the national, regional and international levels. JRS together with Pope Francis’ ‘20 Points of Action’ called for the prioritisation of the Global Compacts. As a member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), JRS Australia was a leading civil society participant at the member-state negotiations on the GCM and at the final consultation on the GCR.
Internal Displacement in Myanmar
The prolonged conflict between the Myanmar government and Ethnic Armed Organizations has left over 241,000 displaced people displaced in their own country. They remain in camps or camp-like situations after fleeing violence in Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Shan and Rakhine states. About 9,930 refugees from Kayah State still remain in the two camps in Mae Hong Son province of Thailand.
Disruption of education is a consequential concern amidst the conflict displacements. Since 2015, JRS Myanmar is providing a quality education to the children in Kayah (Thai Border) and Kachin (North) through teacher training and the provision of learning materials. The programs also includes peace-building in the communities for a better integration of internally displaced persons or refugee returnees in the host communities.
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