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Internationally acclaimed refugee rights activist speaks at Loyola

Loyola press release - November 16, 2009

Acclaimed refugee rights activist Katrine Camilleri, Ph.D., assistant director of the Jesuit Refugee Services in Malta, visited Loyola University New Orleans on Tuesday, Nov. 17, to deliver the last lecture of the People on the Move conference. Her talk, “Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Human Rights and Catholic Social Teaching.”

Camilleri is the 2007 recipient of the U.N. Refugee Agency's Nansen Refugee Award, which is given to individuals or organizations that have distinguished themselves in work on behalf of refugees. Camilleri’s recent work has focused on helping refugees and asylum seekers who are detained in Malta. Despite threats and arson attacks on her home and vehicle, Camilleri has been successful in influencing government policy and continues to be at the forefront of the battle to improve conditions in detention centers in Malta.

Camilleri's talk will round out the People on the Move conference, a series of events examining the plight of displaced people that began on Oct. 28. The conference is sponsored by the Jesuit Social Research Institute and funded in part by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation.

Housed in the College of Social Sciences, JSRI is a collaborative project of Loyola University and the Jesuit New Orleans Province. JSRI offers research, social analysis, theological reflection and practical strategies for improving the social and economic conditions of the southern United States and in select parts of the Caribbean and Latin America, with particular focus on issues of poverty, race and migration in the light of Catholic social teaching.

The Jesuit Refugee Service is an international Catholic organization found in more than 50 countries with a mission to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. Founded in 1980 as a work of the Society of Jesus, JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support of an international office in Rome. At the end of 2007, more than 500,000 individuals were direct beneficiaries of JRS projects.

For more information on the conference, contact Mary Baudouin at JSRI at 504-865-7748 or at mbaudouin@norprov.org. For more information on the College of Social Sciences, contact Catherine Koppel in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5448 or ckoppel@loyno.edu.