What is J R S ?
The Jesuit Refugee Service ( JRS ) is a specialist international agency designed to accompany refugees and displaced persons and to offer them practical and spiritual support, regardless of their beliefs. Set up in 1980 by the Jesuits, JRS is now at work in more than 50 countries. Full-time JRS workers number around 350 persons. JRS draws on the strength of the Jesuits’ worldwide network of associates and institutions. JRS joined the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) since practically its beginning. In a spirit of cooperation JRS has been able to bring to the International Campaign the richness of its own networks.
[For more detailed information on JRS, please, take a look at its own home page]

The Asian headquarters of the Jesuit Refugee Service are located in Bangkok. JRS Bangkok assists many asylum seekers reaching Thailand. New detention centers are being built or expanded so more and more foreigners – migrant workers, absconders from the refugee camps, asylum-seekers, human trafficking victims and others – become caught in a cycle of arrest, deportation and return. JRS has medical staff there to assist the growing number of detainees, and to deal with more complex illnesses, like HIV/AIDS cases. Legal and psychological advice, as well as other kinds of needed assistance are also given. Burmese displaced persons are numerous in Thailand and JRS keeps a special desk on Burma issues. In Myanmar (Burma) human rights abuses, forced labour for disruptive development projects, and ongoing conflict between the government and the ethnic minorities, displace people within the country and over the border into Thailand. Major elements of the JRS Burma Project are border emergency relief and small social development projects; Bangkok casework; information and advocacy, and human rights documentation.

In Cambodia the JRS programs include: technical training and support to land mine victims, rural development activities, support to re-integration into Cambodian society, peace and reconciliation activities, etc. JRS / CAMBODIA has played a key role in the Cambodian and International Campaign to ban all landmines. Tun Channareth, a land mine victim working at the technical training center run by JRS/CAMBODIA, was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, on behalf of the ICBL.

Photo of the Technical Training Center

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