About Us

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 organization with over 35 years of experience, we are active in 50 countries worldwide serving almost 1 million refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. Taking into consideration different needs of people, we act at different levels: form supporting refugees in huge refugee’s camps or towns, taking care of displaced people inside their own countries, advocating for asylum seekers as well as helping people into detention centers.
The international dimension of JRS (we are present in 18 EU countries) 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 fastest solutions to help to the people we serve. At the same time, those experiences allowed us to take part in geopolitical decisions at the EU Parliament and EU Commission level.
JRS operation in Serbia were established back in 1994. We had taken care for of needs of refugees and other forcibly displaced people who left their homes during wars in this area.
Between 2001 and 2016 our office was closed.
Following the refugee crisis our operation in Serbia reopened, this time with aim to support and help refugees and migrants form Middle East countries as well as asylum seekers looking for safety and protection escaping from countries affected by war.

COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD
50
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
35
+
COUNTRIES IN EUROPE
18
IN SERBIA FROM
1994

WHAT PEOPLE SAY?

“Refugees have names, they are not just statistics. They have hopes and dreams like us, they have regrets like us. They have mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. They smile, laugh and cry. They find it hard to get out of bed on a Monday morning. They are human beings.”
Daniel Crowley
JRS Youth Ambassador
“I came back with a sense of hope and goodness of the people who dedicated their lives to give these young people a chance”
Emmylou Harris
Singer