Protection – GBV

IDP girl in Mokoto camp, eastern DRC.
IDP girl in Mokoto camp, eastern DRC. (Jesuit Refugee Service)

JRS promotes protection by providing refugees with effective physical and psychological protection. The general aim of our protection activities is to minimise the violations of human rights that forcibly displaced people face, not only in their country of origin, but also in the country where they seek asylum. This is done with a special attention to survivors to Gender Based Violence (GBV) offering safe spaces and accompaniment.

We believe that our proximity to refugees is fundamental to understanding their needs and finding appropriate solutions. JRS protection activities takes place at the local level, where our advocacy officers and caseworkers work directly with individuals and families who face discrimination, detention, and lack of access to basic services and fundamental rights, as it is the case of GBV survivors.

JRS staff provide information to refugees about the legal and administrative frameworks in the countries of destination, as well as provides safe spaces for survivors whose life and security is still in risk. Where they are at risk from armed groups or hostile populations, we also provide refugees with information about safe routes, and local sources of support and safety.

Our legal teams assist asylum seekers with their applications for refugee status. In places where refugees and asylum seekers are unlawfully detained, we provide legal assistance, and advocate for the rights of detainees with the authorities. JRS recognises the importance of lawful status for refugees, in particular those who are stateless or are at risk of being rendered stateless due to a lack of proper documentation; we advocate with governments for children to be registered, and for the implementation of other mechanisms that lead to lawful status.

Last but not least, JRS organises training and awareness seminars on refugee and humanitarian law, thereby providing refugees with the information that they need to advocate for themselves and their communities.