Belgium

Number of People Served: 607

Since 2013, Belgium has had a structural resettlement programme, offering yearly protection to a number of vulnerable refugees. Today, 2,885 refugees have been resettled in Belgium, consisting of 2,535 Syrian refugees and 315 Congolese refugees. In 2018, 714 refugees arrived in Belgium under the scope of the resettlement programme.

 

Our Work in Belgium

JRS Belgium was created to support the cause of those living on the margins of our society. In the 1980’s, Fr Jadot SJ, supported by  Fr Xavier Dijon SJ, came together with a few others in Belgium to develop a response to the critical situation in Namur, where refugees were in need.

As the number of refugees arriving in Belgium continued to increase, the Jesuit Fathers of the Flemish provinces and the Southern part of the country requested a Belgian, bilingual section of the JRS be created in Brussels: the Jesuit Refugee Service Belgium. Soon after, visits to refugees and forced migrants in closed detention centers became the focus of JRS Belgium. Today, the team visits four of the five closed centers every week, listens to the detainees, offers mental and psychological support, provides information, and advocates for their rights.

In 2017, 19 asylum seekers were served by JRS staff and a total of 98 volunteers assisted in projects.

See our work

Brigitte from Brussels, left, and Flavia, right, a forced migrant from East Africa, watch Netflix together in Brigitte’s apartment.
Brigitte from Brussels, left, and Flavia, right, a forced migrant from East Africa, watch Netflix together in Brigitte’s apartment. (Denis Bosnic/Jesuit Refugee Service)
'Duo for a Job' provides mentors that help migrants and refugees with professional skills and finding work in Belgium.
'Duo for a Job' provides mentors that help migrants and refugees with professional skills and finding work in Belgium. (Jesuit Refugee Service)

Stories


Contact

JRS Belgium Country Director

Baudouin Van Overstraeten

directeur@jrsbelgium.org

Project locations:

Bruges, Merksplas, Votten, Steenokkerzeel, Caricole transit centre

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