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World Youth Skills Day, 15 July 2015

News Release

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), joins the rest of the World in marking the inaugural World Youth Skills Day. The United Nations General Assembly is aiming to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth development by celebrating the first World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) on 15 July 2015. CoRMSA strongly believes that this day includes asylum seeker, refugee and migrants youths in their host countries.

WYSD celebrations coincide with an important year of setting the agenda for the future: a new climate agreement and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals are just around the corner. That is why this year’s theme is “Youth skills for work and life in the post-2015 agenda”. WYSD is in line with the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, which propose two goals on education and skills for employment:

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

On this day, CoRMSA would like to recognize and appreciate the positive continues contributions made by the refugee, asylum seeker and migrant youths in South Africa and other host countries from skills transfer and development, economic development, employment, cultural diversity, education and youth programme development.  We therefore encourage our government and other state parties to adopt the language of migration for development in the SDG negotiations and ensure that no one is discriminated against on the basis of their migratory status.

CoRMSA strongly agrees with the United Nations General Assembly that skills development should not discriminate based on countries of origin but be inclusive of all the young people wherever they find themselves in the world.

For further information please contact Mr. Thifulufheli Sinthumule –  Advocacy Officer at CoRMSA – 078 287 1485/011 403 7560 communications@cormsa.org.za

World Refugee Day, 20 June 2015.

News Release

Johannesburg, 19 June 2015

World Refugee Day is commemorated on 20 June annually around the globe. This day is dedicated to honour the courage, strength, resilience and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. This year, the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (Migration Unit), the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), Anti-Xenophobia Action South Africa (AXASA), Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Amnesty International South Africa (AISA) and Pastoral Care for Refugees and Migrants are collaborating in Johannesburg to host a World Refugee Day event and as a response to the recent xenophobic and violent attacks against asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in the country. World Refugee Day was declared on the 04 December 2000, under the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001, to be celebrated 20 June.

The global theme for the event is ‘Refugees Just Like Us”.’ The organising committee has opted to adopt the theme “Fostering Communities of Peace and Diversity in South Africa” in recognising the resilience of refugees whilst overcoming challenges that they go through in their lives from their countries of origin and in the host country and communities. This theme highlights the importance of fostering social cohesion amongst refugees and the host communities. Key objectives of this event are: to bring together the refugee and the South African communities to share their personal experience and understanding the positive contributions migrants make to the host countries. Secondly, to promote peaceful coexistence in communities and lastly, to foster solidarity on refugee issues as a strategy to addressing xenophobic sentiments and attacks. This will include the promotion of respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for ‘all who live in South Africa.

To this day, World Refugee Day in South Africa is commemorated amidst continued tensions and xenophobic violence in communities. The planning committee encourages various stakeholders to contribute to making South Africa a place of welcome and hospitality. As we commemorate World Refugee Day 2015, we plead for the following:

  • We call upon the South African government, especially the office of the presidency, to take the lead and initiate community dialogues in various communities nationally on the importance of human rights, social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and access to justice to all.
  • On combating Xenophobia, CoRMSA calls upon the government of South Africa to finalise and publish the hate crime legislation that will criminalise hate crime actions and to bring those involved in human rights violation to book and account for their actions.
  • Call upon all leaders from royalty to political and civil society to refrain from making utterances that contain hate speech and fuel intolerance in communities instead of focusing on building communities of peace and diversity as leaders.

The commemoration event will take place 19 June 2015 from 9am – 1 pm at the Cathedral of Christ the King Catholic Church Hall, 186 Nugget Street, Berea, Johannesburg.

Guests and participants are invited from the general public, refugees and asylum seekers, representatives from UNHCR, UN Women, Public Protector, IOM, Amnesty International SA, South African Human Rights Commission, South African Government Departments and civil society organisations, Office of the Premier Gauteng Province, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, South African Social Security Agency, Department of Social development, Commission for Gender Equality etc.

For further information please contact Mr. Thifulufheli Sinthumule- Advocacy Officer-CoRMSA – 078 287 1485/011 403 7560 communications@cormsa.org.za

World Refugee Day Invitation

“Refugees Just like Us”: Fostering Communities of Peace and Diversity in South Africa”

In commemorating the World Refugee Day, we cordially invite your organisation to join us in recognising the resilience of refugees whilst overcoming challenges that they go through in their lives from their countries of origin and in the host country and communities. The event will take place as follows:

Date: 19 June 2015.

Venue: Cathedral of Christ the King Catholic Church Hall, 186 Nugget Street, Berea, Johannesburg.

Time: 08H00am to 13H00pm.

World Refugee Day is commemorated on 20 June annually around the globe. This day is dedicated to honour the courage, strength, resilience and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. This year, the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (Migration Unit), the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), Anti-Xenophobia Action South Africa (AXASA), Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), Amnesty International South Africa (AISA) and Pastoral Care for Refugees and Migrants are collaborating in Johannesburg to host a World Refugee Day event and as a response to the recent xenophobic and violent attacks against asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in the country. World Refugee Day was declared on the 04 December 2000, under the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001, to be celebrated 20 June.

The World Refugee Day 2015 event targeting over 300 participants will provide an opportunity for all stakeholders like civil society organisations, government departments, chapter 9 institutions, South African and refugee communities to communicate with and mobilise our constituencies, audiences, individuals and the wider public to raise awareness about refugee protection and human rights in general. Participants will include asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, South Africans, various government leaders, international agencies and other representatives from the sectors.

Key objectives of this event are: to bring together the refugee and the South African communities to share their personal experience and understanding the positive contributions migrants make to the host countries. Secondly, to promote peaceful coexistence in communities and lastly, to foster solidarity on refugee issues as a strategy to addressing xenophobic sentiments and attacks. This will include the promotion of respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for ‘all who live in South Africa.’

The event will have different guest speakers and participation from the MMC for Social Development, Office of the Premier Gauteng Province, government departments, Chapter 9 institutions, Home Affairs, UNHCR, civil society organisations, Interfaith groups, various community groups, a refugee and civil society activist. Cultural performances and Exhibition will be part of the programme in order to promote African and Global Unity.

We will appreciate your participation and support.

For further information please contact Mr. Thifulufheli Sinthumule at thifulufheli@cormsa.org.za Tel. 011 403 7560 or Mr. Jeffrey Nyawane at JeffreyN@joburg.org.za Tel: 011 376 8684.

 

Africa Day: CoRMSA calls for respecting the rights of refugees and migrants in South Africa

CoRMSA celebrates Africa Day commemorating the founding of the Organisation of African Unity on 25th May 1963. It is a day when we can all stand together and celebrate our African roots and history regardless of nationalities. However, since the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South African, there has been a continuous division amongst persons based our country of birth. As a result, shops are looted, many lives are lost, families divided, children orphaned a clear indication that the South African government and people have not made significant progress in promoting unity and tolerance. In addition, the South African Department of Home Affairs has closed three Refugee Reception Offices that service refugees and asylum seekers in accessing their documentation. These closures, coupled with the long delay in conducting refugee status determinations, have increased the vulnerability of refugees due to lack of access to documentation causing many legitimate asylum seekers to become undocumented. ‘Operation Fiela’ being carried out by SAPS and SANDF, has been conducting mass arrests of non-nationals, many of whom are legitimately in the country. CoRMSA calls upon the Department of Home Affairs to respect the rule of law by complying with the judgment of the High Court by re-opening the offices in Johannesburg, providing full services in the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth Refugee Reception Offices, and refraining from closing any more offices throughout the country.

CoRMSA calls upon all leaders from royalty to political, religious and other civil society structures to refrain from making utterances that contain hate speech and fuel intolerance in communities instead of focusing on building communities of peace and diversity.

For further information please contact:

Ms Roshan Dadoo – Acting Executive Director – CoRMSA –082 816 2799/011 403 7560 roshan@cormsa.org.za

Mr. Thifulufheli Sinthumule – National Programme Coordinator – CoRMSA – 078 287 1485/011 403 7560 communications@cormsa.org.za

Guide to Services for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa 2015

The new Guide to Services for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa is available to view and download here:

Guide to Services for Refugees and Migrants 2015

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