[PRESS STATEMENT] World Refugee Day 2020

[PRESS STATEMENT] World Refugee Day 2020

Immediate release:                                                                                                                  20 June 2020

World Refugee Day 2020: Standing As One with Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Today, on the 20th June 2020, the world stands in solidarity and strength with all refugees and asylum seekers in marking World Refugee Day. World Refugee Day is an opportunity to firstly, raise awareness and honour the courage, strength and determination of millions of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under the threat of persecution, conflict and or violence. Secondly, to celebrate their contribution and inclusion in our neighbourhoods, cities and country.

This year’s theme for World Refugee Day is ‘Every Action Counts’. At a time when the world is faced by a global health emergency which is having unprecedented social, economic and psychological impact on the most vulnerable people in our societies, which includes refugees and asylum seekers, and whose vulnerability has been compounded by the impact of COVID-19. It is imperative that as a global community we do all that we can to support and protect those who need it most.

On this day, CoRMSA welcomes and supports the timeous victory by member organisation Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, in their urgent litigation challenging the exclusion of asylum seekers and special permit holders from the COVID-19 special relief of distress grant. Meaning a specific group of non-citizens including asylum seekers and special permit holders can access these funds, if eligible. This is a progressive move in ensuring the most vulnerable and needy in our communities are provided for. It is imperative in the fight against COVID-19 that or response includes all those at risk to ensure the effectiveness of the response.

The resurgence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement around the globe has shown the immediate need for a world that is more inclusive and equal for all people. The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) commits itself to continually pursue and advocate for South Africa’s social fabric, economic practice and policy implementation to be accessible and inclusive of refugees and asylum seekers and all those living in South Africa.

While this year is different from others and we can’t commemorate this day in person as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, under this years theme ‘Every Action Counts’ CoRMSA is inviting everyone to follow our social media campaign #StandAsOne in which people can participate in various actions including donating to organisations assisting refugees and asylum seekers, watching short films, making a pledge to include refugees and asylum seekers and standing in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers living in South Africa and around the globe.

For inquiries or more information please contact: Thifulufheli Sinthumule (CoRMSA) thifulufheli@cormsa.org.za/+27 71358 0059 or Abigail Dawson (CoRMSA) communications@cormsa.org.za/ +27748515683 or Muluti Phiri (CoRMSA) advocacy@cormsa.org.za

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