Issue: 78: The Search for Refuge


Working Notes – Issue 78 Editorial

John Guiney SJ and Eugene Quinn During 2015, in excess of one million refugees and migrants risked their lives in crossing the Mediterranean Sea to enter the European Union. More than 3,700 people, one quarter of them children, died by drowning during the attempt. Europe’s experience of increased forced migration is just one element of... Read more »


An inflatable boat filled with refugees and other migrants approaches the north coast of the Greek island of Lesbos. Turkey is visible in the background. More than 500,000 migrants have crossed by boat from Turkey to the Greek islands so far in 2015.

Time to Act: Implementation of the Report of the Working Group on the Protection Process

Eugene Quinn Introduction The Statement of Government Priorities 2014–2016, which was issued by the Fine Gael and Labour Party Coalition Government in July 2014, included a commitment to ‘treat asylum seekers with the humanity and respect that they deserve ... [and] reduce the length of time the applicant spends in the system ...’.1 This commitment... Read more »

Poverty & Inequality  

The EU Refugee and Migrant Crisis: A Shared Responsibility

David Moriarty Introduction  We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery! The boats landing daily on the shores of Europe are filled with men and women who need acceptance and assistance. (Pope Francis)1 During 2015, over one million migrants and asylum seekers risked crossing the Mediterranean Sea in unsafe boats in an attempt... Read more »

Poverty & Inequality  

Refugee camp, Kurdistan, Iraq   iStock Photo ©claudiad

Our Common Humanity: Human Rights and Refugee Protection

Colin Harvey Contexts The global refugee crisis is raising profound questions about the status and effectiveness of protection regimes at all levels. It should also prompt reflection on the present international order and why, despite the plea of ‘never again’, we still witness human rights violations on massive scales. The world remains a structurally unequal... Read more »

Poverty & Inequality  

Devastation after cyclone      iStock Photo ©acrylik 

Climate Change and Population Displacement

Catherine Devitt Introduction The September 2015 issue of Working Notes had as its main theme, ‘Caring for our Common Home’,1 exploring aspects of our relationship with the natural environment, while providing a strong moral argument for taking urgent action in response to threats to our environment, including those arising from climate change. Simply put, climate... Read more »