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JRS Advocates

A vital part of Jesuit Refugee Service's mission is to defend the rights of refugees and migrants throughout the world. JRS advocates for just and generous policies and programs for the benefit of victims of forced displacement, so people made vulnerable by exile can receive support and protection, and so a durable solution to their plight can be achieved.

JRS/USA works with an international network of JRS programs in more than 45 countries, and with other human rights and refugee assistance organizations to tell the story of the "forgotten" refugee. By bringing field-based accounts of needs that too often do not make the headlines to the attention of policy makers in the United States, and by proposing specific actions to meet these needs, JRS advocacy seeks to make a direct and lifesaving impact on the well-being of refugees and forced migrants.


  • Refugee Protection
  • Refugee Education

Refugees fleeing war and persecution can be very vulnerable. They have no protection from their own state and it is often their own government that is persecuting them. If other countries do not let them in, or protect them, they may be condemned to an intolerable situation where their basic human rights, security, and even their lives are in danger.

JRS defends the basic human rights of refugees not be returned involuntarily to a country where they could face persecution and to find appropriate and durable solutions for them and their families. Globally, JRS works to protect the rights of refugees in a variety of ways including offering legal representation, providing access to safe spaces for children and families, and helping refugees integrate into their host communities.

TAKE ACTION: Click here to tell the Administration you support refugees.

Advocating for Refugees' Right to Education

Access to education plays a critical role for refugees as they will be tasked not only with rebuilding their lives, but rebuilding their communities as well. Yet, education is most at risk during emergencies as humanitarian crises disrupt education, delay access and contribute to higher drop-out and lower completion rates. Globally, refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than non-refugee children and more than half of the primary and secondary school-age children under UNHCR’s mandate have no school to go to. Yet, globally, only 2 percent of humanitarian aid goes to educational programs for the forcibly displaced.

Rooted in the Jesuit commitment to education, JRS offers a variety of opportunities for refugees and displaced persons to acquire an education both in refugee camps and in non-camp settings. JRS currently operates education programming in 38 countries serving over 141,000 refugees and displaced persons.

TAKE ACTION: Click here to tell your Member of Congress to support the READ Act