The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has moved to plug some of the gaps left by the reduction in Federal Government support for services to refugees and asylum seekers.
    "The reductions and the hardening of public attitudes are the main reasons for a focus on public advocacy by JRS in Australia," said the organisation's Bangkok-based Regional Director Fr Steve Curtin.
    "Key organisations such as the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre have been reduced to a hand-to-mouth existence by the Federal Government," he said.
    Following a recent review, a reinvigorated JRS Australia will use its international links to lobby on behalf of the displaced in Australia and the region and to take a more proactive rolel in testing government policy. It hopes to appoint specialised staff with experience in politics, law, research, policy, media and lobbying, to work with its Director.
    Meanwhile, in the wake of current violence, JRS has increased its commitment to Indonesia and East Timor.

3:05pm 27/4/99 / Catholic Leader


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