Press Release:

For Immediate release:                                                                                                                            18 December 2018

#WithDignity: CoRMSA celebrates the dignity and achievement of migrants in South Africa.

December 18th marks International Migrants Day. This day is  celebrated annually since 2000 in commemorating the adoption of the international convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families in 1990. The theme for this years (2018) International Migrants Day is ‘Migration with Dignity’ #WithDignity.

The UN proclamation of the International Migrants’ Day was an important step in offering a rallying point for everyone across the world who is concerned with the protection of migrants.  UN member states, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations are encouraged to observe this day by disseminating information on human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, sharing experiences, and undertaking action to ensure their protection.

Migration is a growing phenomenon and it could make a positive contribution to development both in the countries of origin and destination provided it is supported by the right policies.  Therefore,  respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of all migrants is essential to  realise the benefits of international migration. Migrants do not only bring their suitcases, they contribute to economic growth and human development; they enrich societies through cultural diversity, knowledge and cultural exchange. This evidently shows that with the right policies in place, South Africa could benefit significantly from a diversity of migrants within its borders.

While migration is envisaged to bring a positive and empowering experience for both migrants and receiving countries, many migrants  endure human rights violations, xenophobia, and exploitation. The International Migrants Day reminds us of the importance of all stakeholders and advocates to promote and protect the fundamental rights of all persons, regardless of their migration status, nationality, race, gender, ethnicity or documentation status, as guaranteed by the international law.

The commemoration of International Migrants Day symbolises the  recognition of migrants’ contributions to the development and well-being of countries globally, including South Africa.  This day provides an opportunity  to raise awareness of migrants’ basic human rights, to demand an end to all forms of abuse and violence against migrants and their families and to hold the South African government accountable in  upholding  the rights of  refugees,migrants and asylum seekers in the country.

This International Migrants Day, The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) celebrates and acknowledges the positive social, cultural and economic contributions that refugees, migrants and asylum seekers make  to South Africa.   South Africa is marred by a history and  continuous  xenophobic rhetoric and violence.   In light of this,  CoRMSA stands alongside refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in promoting and protecting their rights so they can  live a safe and fulfilling life contributing to South African communities.

CoRMSA wishes that this day  provides a platform for all stakeholders to  advocate for reconciliation and unity in diversity that would lead to harmonious coexistence between migrants and local hosting communities.

For more information contact: Abigail Dawson- Communicatios and Media Officer

Email: Cell: 074 851 5683

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