Our visitors go to meet refugees and migrants in detention centres and return-houses in Belgium. These are personal meetings with the refugees and migrants. Detainees may share their worries, their sadness, their doubts and questions about the future.
We offer them a space where they can express themselves, and we listen to them. Their story matters. Beyond personally accompanying them, we try to reassure them in their human dignity, a core human need often neglected in the world of media, organisations and politicians. We spend time together, whilst awaiting the uncertain outcome of the authorities’ decisions at a moment when the belief in Human Rights has been lost. We are there as a companion when the migration project fails and the future looks gloomy.
“It is through close and direct contacts with migrants and by being by their side that we are able to understand their real needs.” (Bernard Arputhasamy S.J., former director of JRS Asia Pacific)
The personal contacts with detainees help us substantiate our advocacy work and advocate for their rights.