Jesuit Refugee Service has programs for refugees in three locations in Ethiopia. In the capital, Addis Ababa, JRS serves urban refugees. In the northeast, JRS serves refugees from Eritrea at Mai Aini refugee camp. In the southeast Dollo Ado region, JRS serves refugees from Somalia at Melkadida and Kobe refugee camps. Learn more here. 

Jesuit Fr Timothy Kesicki, President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States and a long-time board member of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, joined 39 other national religious leaders in delivery of a succinct, one-sentence message to President Barack Obama urging him not to compromise the lives of children fleeing violence in Central America as the Administration considers its next steps on immigration. Read the letter and learn more here.

Ethiopia now home to largest number of refugees in Africa
The UN refugee agency reported last month that Ethiopia is now the largest host country of refugees in Africa, surpassing Kenya. At the end of July, Ethiopia was home to more than 629,000 refugees, while neighboring Kenya hosts more than 575,000.
The conflict in South Sudan is driving the increase in refugee numbers in Ethiopia, and has sent 188,000 refugees into Ethiopia since the beginning of 2014. There are now 247,000 South Sudanese refugees in the country, making them the largest refugee population.

Ethiopia now home to largest number of refugees in Africa

The UN refugee agency reported last month that Ethiopia is now the largest host country of refugees in Africa, surpassing Kenya. At the end of July, Ethiopia was home to more than 629,000 refugees, while neighboring Kenya hosts more than 575,000.

The conflict in South Sudan is driving the increase in refugee numbers in Ethiopia, and has sent 188,000 refugees into Ethiopia since the beginning of 2014. There are now 247,000 South Sudanese refugees in the country, making them the largest refugee population.

South Sudan: innocence suffers in conflict
A wave of hundreds of terrified women and children running away from town overtook us. It was hard to believe that the people from the host community were running for their lives toward the refugee camps. A few months earlier there had been tensions between the refugees and the host community, but in this critical moment the Mabanese people were welcomed to safety by the refugees. 
Running myself for my life amidst those women and children I felt a knot in my stomach and wondered who on earth gains anything from this senseless war that has already left enough victims? Up to now it is not too clear what exactly triggered the recent fighting in Bunj town. Some claim that a unit of government soldiers defected to join the opposition forces, but even that has not been confirmed. The sense of uncertainty is one of the most difficult things to cope with in times of conflict. 

South Sudan: innocence suffers in conflict

A wave of hundreds of terrified women and children running away from town overtook us. It was hard to believe that the people from the host community were running for their lives toward the refugee camps. A few months earlier there had been tensions between the refugees and the host community, but in this critical moment the Mabanese people were welcomed to safety by the refugees. 

Running myself for my life amidst those women and children I felt a knot in my stomach and wondered who on earth gains anything from this senseless war that has already left enough victims? Up to now it is not too clear what exactly triggered the recent fighting in Bunj town. Some claim that a unit of government soldiers defected to join the opposition forces, but even that has not been confirmed. The sense of uncertainty is one of the most difficult things to cope with in times of conflict. 

Jesuit Refugee Service says the need for cross-border and regional collaboration on refugees has never been greater, and Australia has the potential to play a leading role in the development of a regional response to forced migration in the Asia-Pacific region.

JRS’ recently-released paper titled A Regional Response to Forced Migration says Australia can no longer ignore its duty in helping to establish an agreement that will ensure governments share the burden of displacement and provide safe pathways for the 8.4 million displaced people currently living in the Asia-Pacific region.

A group of truck drivers take turns draining water from an impassable section of road that has stopped close to 100 trucks on the road linking the South Sudan states of Western Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal. (United Nations)
Whether the severe humanitarian food crisis in South Sudan is a “phase four humanitarian emergency” or a “phase five famine” does not matter much to the 1.6 million South Sudanese who have been displaced by the political and ethnic firestorm that has torn the world’s newest country apart since last December.

A group of truck drivers take turns draining water from an impassable section of road that has stopped close to 100 trucks on the road linking the South Sudan states of Western Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal. (United Nations)

Whether the severe humanitarian food crisis in South Sudan is a “phase four humanitarian emergency” or a “phase five famine” does not matter much to the 1.6 million South Sudanese who have been displaced by the political and ethnic firestorm that has torn the world’s newest country apart since last December.

The Society of Jesus in the United States (the Jesuit order) is making a personal plea to the 43 Congressional representatives who graduated from U.S. Jesuit high schools and colleges to “uphold the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of human life” when considering policy solutions to address the influx of children fleeing violence in Central America.
In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (a Xavier University alumnus), copied to Jesuit alumni in Congress, Fr. Thomas H. Smolich S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference, called on Congress to uphold the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA). 

The Society of Jesus in the United States (the Jesuit order) is making a personal plea to the 43 Congressional representatives who graduated from U.S. Jesuit high schools and colleges to “uphold the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of human life” when considering policy solutions to address the influx of children fleeing violence in Central America.

In a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner (a Xavier University alumnus), copied to Jesuit alumni in Congress, Fr. Thomas H. Smolich S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference, called on Congress to uphold the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA). 

Cluster Munitions Ban: National Laws Needed 

(San Jose, Costa Rica, September 3, 2014) – Countries around the world should enact strong laws to implement the treaty banning cluster munitions, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today at an international meeting of nations party to the treaty.

The 81-page report, Staying Strong: Key Components and Positive Precedent for Convention on Cluster Munitions Legislation,” urges countries to pass robust national legislation as soon as possible to carry out the provisions of the treaty. The report describes the elements of a comprehensive law and highlights exemplary provisions in existing laws. The report was jointly published with Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic.

“To maximize the global cluster munition treaty’s impact, all countries should adopt national laws that apply its high standards at home,” said Bonnie Docherty, senior researcher in the arms division at Human Rights Watch and lead author of the report. “Prohibitions that can be enforced in domestic courts can help ensure that these deadly weapons don’t harm civilians.”  

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