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JRS Advocacy Workshop

20 August 2015. JRS Advocacy Workshop: Refugee and Asylum Seekers information and Interaction Workshop in Johannesburg with the UNHCR, Department of Home Affairs (Asylum Seeker Management and Centre Manager of Marabastad), Consortium for Refugees and Migrants South Africa (CoRMSA), Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), Pro Bono.Org, Jesuit Refugee Service Southern Africa (JRS), Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees, Coordinating Body of Refugee & Migrant Communities (CBRMC), Corruption Watch, Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO), City of Johannesburg- Region F (Migrant Unit). The event took place at Cathedral of Christ the King Catholic Church Hall, 148 Nugget Street, Berea, Johannesburg and it was attended by over 500 participants comprised on various nationalities.

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CoRMSA Members Meeting 2015

CoRMSA Secretariat held its  second CoRMSA Members Meeting for 2015. The meeting was well attended by CoRMSA members. The meeting took place at Devonshire Hotel, Braamfontein. Johannesburg. Purpose of the members meeting is to deliberate,  and report on issues affecting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants from various provinces in South Africa and regionally. The members meeting is also aimed at developing a various collaborative strategies of addressing challenges facing asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.  CoRMSA  remains  committed  to  promoting  and protecting  the  rights  of  asylum  seekers,  refugees and  migrants  in  the  country.

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CoRMSA held Effective Advocacy Training (Capacity Building)

23 July 2015: As part of CoRMSA programmer’s mandate on Capacity Building for non-governmental organisations nationally on issues affecting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, it was deemed fit that there is need to train non-governmental organisation on how to do effective advocacy on issues affecting non-nationals. This training targeted the leaders from advice offices, advocacy fraternity, human rights and social activists looking specifically at the importance of advocacy and its tools, how to identify advocacy issues, how to develop a pitch, how to do monitoring and evaluation and to plan of tactical action within a strategic framework.

The discussion included developing an understanding on the role of coalitions (NGOs) in understanding and advocating for the rights of non-nationals within the Republic of South Africa and to understand the SADC Protocol when doing advocacy at a Regional level. As part of promoting gender equality and women empowerment, a total of 18 participants from 15 organisations attended the training and in order to promote gender equality and empowerment, amongst the 18 participants, 9 participants were women.

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Participants were taking through the whole process of advocacy and lobbying including its strategies, forms of advocacy, the importance of advocacy, how it is related to their work, theories of advocacy, problem analysis, advocacy policy analysis, using of campaign as advocacy and the theory of change. Lastly, participants were taken through the general SADC protocol including SADC objectives and how SADC can be used during Advocacy.

The event took place at the Rustenburg Kloof, Hotel and Conference Centre, Rustenburg,  North West Province.

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