Author Archive Abigail Dawson

[PRESS STATEMENT] International Migrants Day 2020.


For Immediate release: 18 December 2020
Press Release: International Migrants Day.

“Upholding and Reimagining the Human Rights of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants”.


December 18th marks International Migrants Day. The United Nations (UN) International Migrants Day is annually held since 2000 to recognize the efforts, contributions, and rights of migrants worldwide. It is a day set aside by the UN to recognize the estimated 272 million migrants that are integral members of all our societies today. The UN proclamation of the International Migrants’ Day was an important step, offering a rallying point for everyone across the world who is concerned with the protection of migrants. On this day, UN member states, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations 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.


South Africa like any other country in the world hosts both forced and economic migrants from around the continent and beyond. Whereas South Africa is progressive in having signed the UN and OAU Conventions on Refugees, these international charters have been domesticated into our own legislations and many of the most vulnerable migrants, asylum seekers and refugees are frequently denied their human rights – which recognize the inherent dignity, equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race. The Universal Declaration states that, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Which elements build the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

The year 2020’s International Migrants Day theme is Reimagining Human Mobility #MigrantsDay. According the UN, migrants contribute their knowledge, networks, and skills to build stronger, more resilient communities. During the past months, migrants have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. Their work in health, transportation and food services made our lives under lockdown more bearable. People on the move hope for a brighter future. It is our collective responsibility to create a safer, more resilient world. CoRMSA completely agrees with these sentiments echoed by the UN in commemorating and celebrating this day during this difficult period and we all need to reimagine the human movement.

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Migrants Day. This day provides us with an opportunity to remember migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and reiterate the need to respect their human rights and dignity. The respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of all migrants is essential to realise the benefits of international migration such as the positive contributions (economically and socially) migrants make to the development both in their countries of origin and destination. Although migration is envisaged to bring a positive and empowering experience for both migrants and the destination countries, many migrants endure human rights violations. Conversely, while the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted people’s lives, however, some sections of society have been more severely affected than others. In South Africa, before and with the current global health pandemic, vulnerable groups including asylum seekers, refugees, economic migrants, women and children are frequently denied the rights that should be afforded to them such as access to basic health care, basic education and access to documentation. They also continue to endure hardships and human rights violations which include experiences of xenophobic attacks and xenophobic rhetoric common in public discourse.


On this day, CoRMSA is calling upon all governments, international organizations, relevant authorities and civil society organisations to welcome migrants and commit to effectively promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants by ensuring that their fundamental rights as laid out in Chapter 2 of the Constitution are realized. This day, is significant more than ever as the world fights a global health pandemic which has been compounded with intolerances, injustices and human rights violations against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants characterized by a fundamental disregard for human rights
As the world continues to grapple with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which has deteriorated vulnerabilities of millions in the region regardless of their race, gender or nationality, international migrant’s day provides an opportunity for all of us to stand united and eliminate prejudices and raise awareness of migrants’ contributions in the economic, cultural and social fields, for the benefit of both their country of origin and their country of destination.

For more information contact Thifulufheli Sinthumule at thifulufheli@cormsa.org.za

MigrantsDay #DocumentUs #CollectiveCulture

CoRMSA: Call for Tender To Perform Project Audit.

Opportunity closing date: Thursday, 31 December, 2020Opportunity type: Call for proposals

Background information:

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) is a national network of twenty-five (26) organisations whose main objectives and mission are the promotion and protection of the human rights of asylum seekers, refugees and other international migrants in ways that promote the well-being of all in South Africa and the region. The Consortium has over twenty years of experience working on migration and refugee protection engaging in advocacy and lobbying, including policy submissions; coordination and network building; capacity building; community engagement and dialogue; rights awareness and information sharing. Our member organisations include legal practitioners, community-based refugee- and migrant-led organisations, advice offices, academic institutions, and social service providers amongst others.
 
CoRMSA in partnership with German-based KINDERNOTHILFE (KNH) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) are currently implementing “Children in Migration and their communities are empowered to claim their human rights” project. This 41 (October 2019 to March 2023) months’ project is targeting Children and Youth in Migration and their communities to see that they are empowered to be able to claim their human rights so that they can enjoy inclusive policies and have access to basic services.

CoRMSA as the Beneficiary is required by KNH to submit annual audit reports and a final project audit report produced by a Certified Chartered Accountant in support of the payments requested by the Beneficiary and made by the BMZ and KNH under the terms and conditions of the Project Agreement.
 
Subject of this engagement are the project audits (i.e. all annual audits and a final project audit covering the entire project duration) to be conducted in connection with the Project Agreement for the period covering the 15 October 2019 and 15 March 2023 and the project entitled “Children in Migration and their communities are empowered to claim their human rights”. The next Annual Project Audit is due 31st March 2021 and part of this Annual Audit will be the 2019 Project Audit.
 
The objective of this engagement is for the Auditor to verify that the expenditure claimed by the Beneficiary (CoRMSA) in the Financial Report for the project is accurate and eligible and to submit to the Beneficiary a report of factual findings with regard to the agreed-upon procedures performed. Eligibility means that the funds provided by the grant have been spent in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Project Agreement.

The objective is further to obtain reasonable assurance whether the Beneficiary’s Financial Report is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, thereby enabling the Auditor to express an opinion on whether the financial report was prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the project country.
 
The Auditor will be responsible for performing the agreed-upon procedures as specified in the Terms of Reference and for submitting a report of factual findings to KNH and the Beneficiary.

Full and in-depth ToR containing procedures to be performed, roles and responsibilities will be provided upon of an expression of interest/application.
 
Qualification and selection criteria:

  • The Auditor and/or the firm is/are a member of a national accounting or auditing body or institution which in turn is a member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
  • The Auditor and/or the firm is/are a member of a National Accounting or Auditing Body or Institution. Although this organisation is not a Member of the IFAC, the Auditor commits him/herself to undertake this engagement in accordance with the IFAC standards and ethics.

Application process:

Prospective Auditor/s should send their application/proposal detailing the following:

  • Letter of application stating reasons for your application and why CoRMSA should consider your application including short Biograph.
  • At least three references, if applicable:  on donor project audits/experience with BMZ co-funded projects
  • Proposed Audit fees
  • If team application: roles and structure
  • Certified copy of identity document/permit, dispensation, body registration certificate.
  • Detailed Project Audit Work Plan

Please submit by the 31st December 2020.
 
CoRMSA Contact Person:

Ms. Gloria Makxeta
Email: info@cormsa.org.za and cc thifulufheli@cormsa.org.za
Tel: 011 405 7560
Fax: 011 403 7559

link: CoRMSA: Call for Tender To Perform Project Audit | NGO Pulse

[PRESS STATEMENT] International Human Rights Day 10 December 2020.

#StopGenderBasedViolence #16DaysofActivism #DocumentUs

10 December 2020.
For immediate release:

International Human Rights Day.
“Migrant Women and Children’s Rights Are Human Rights Too”.

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) joins human rights activists, civil society organisations and all governments including the private sector around the world in commemorating and celebrating International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2020. Globally, the year 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone regardless of one’s nationality status or race. In South Africa and the rest of the world, Covid-19 pandemic has further compounded existing inequalities exposing women and children to Gender Based Violence (GBV) To this day, many lives inclusive of Asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and children in migration have been lost due to this pandemic and gender based violence. It has been a sad year to remember for years to come. CoRMSA stands in solidarity with the families of victims of Gender Based Violence and those affected and impacted by this pandemic.


Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The 2020 theme is “Recover Better – Stand Up for Human Rights”. As proclaimed by the United Nations (UN), this year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts. CoRMSA agrees with this theme and calls for the recognition and respect of Human Rights including the Human Rights of Migrant Women and Children in Migration as valuable and existing “Human Rights Too”. No one should be left behind during this process.


CoRMSA strongly believes that equal access and human rights protection for all can play an integral role in recovering from this pandemic; addressing gender based violence, inequalities and to build solidarity between the ordinary population, governments, chapter 9 institutions, private sector and civil society organisations. The UDHR states that everyone is entitled to human rights as a human being regardless of their race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is for this proclamation that CoRMSA is calling for recognition of the human rights of migrant women/ girls and children in migration as human rights too. CoRMSA further calls upon all governments around the globe to also include all non-nationals in all Covid-19 vaccination and treatment processes to promote access to health care services for all.


This Day is commemorated and celebrated in conjunction with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence which is an international campaign to challenge and address violence against women and girls. CoRMSA calls upon everyone and all institutions to stand up for human rights protection and better recovery fostering more resilient and just equitable societies free from gender based violence, hate crimes, corrective crimes, xenophobia, racism, racial discrimination and all forms of social ills. Perpetrators of these social ills must be brought to book to face the law and justice. CoRMSA says No to Gender Based Violence, Racism and Xenophobia.


Every human being has something to offer to this world, if we all stand up for equal human rights access, protection, distribution and justice for all, we can recover better and become a better society for all to belong with shared humanity. As cases of Covid-19 continues to rise, I urge all of us to continue following and practicing Covid-19 regulations of keeping social distance, wearing a mask and washing of hands regularly to save lives and protect our loved ones. Says Thifulufheli Sinthumule (CoRMSA Executive Director).

For more information: contact MR. Thifulufheli Sinthumule at thifulufheli@cormsa.org.za

Vacant Position: Communications and Media Officer.

Opportunity closing date: 

Friday, 30 October, 2020

Opportunity type: 

Employment

Vacant Position at CoRMSA Re: Communication and Media Officer
To be based in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Opportunity type: 1st December 2020 to 31st December 2021.  
Employment Type: Full time (5 days a week)
Closing date: 30th October 2020.
Report Directly to the Director.
 
The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA / the Consortium) is a national network with a current number of twenty-six (26) member organisations in good standing whose main objectives and mission are the promotion and protection of the human rights of asylum seekers, refugees and other international migrants in ways that promote the well-being of all in South Africa and the region. The Consortium has over twenty years of experience working on migration and refugee protection engaging in advocacy and lobbying, including policy submissions; coordination and network building; capacity building; community engagement and dialogue; rights awareness and information sharing. Our member organisations include legal practitioners, community-based refugee- and migrant-led organisations, advice offices, academic institutions, and social service providers amongst others.

Responsibilities:

  • Work in close collaboration with other staff, CoRMSA network members and partners to advocate on matters of Social Justice as they impact on social services, basic human rights and respect to human dignity relating to non-nationals (asylum seekers, refugees and migrants).   
  • Develop and use innovative tools and promotional material for effective knowledge sharing, lobbying, campaigning, networking and resource mobilisation;
  • Write and edit copy for communication products, including media statements, op-eds, mailers, and other products for a variety of audiences;
  •  Contribute to media monitoring, analyse media coverage and identify media opportunities related CoRMSA’s work;
  • Develop and implement a Social Media Strategy including implementation of media strategies, tactics and messages, the production of communication products, [newsletters, and brochures].
  • Taking minutes that accurately reflect the decisions and discussion that took place during CoRMSA members meeting; workshops, dialogues, staff meetings, forums and networks gatherings etc;
  • Writing up these minutes in an agreed format (whether electronically or in hard copy) so that information can be easily discerned and communications are clear.
  • Distributing the minutes to the members timeously.
  • Ensuring that a copy is filed appropriately.
  • Represent CoRMSA in various forums and produce meeting reports thereof;
  • Build strategic relationships with relevant government departments and other institutions working with non-nationals in general and on access to social services in particular while identifying advocacy opportunities and strategies for engaging;
  • Ensures that CoRMSA norms and code of conducts are maintained all the times;
  • Media Communications on issues  related to specific populations known as CoRMSA beneficiaries (asylum seekers, refugees and migrants);
  • Assist CoRMSA staff in drafting identifying and drafting of Funding Proposals for CoRMSA;
  • Perform any other operational duties as per the Director directive that will benefit CoRMSA.
  • Management of Members through regular communication and management of the CORMSA membership Data base and related social media platforms.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree/diploma/higher certificate with major subjects in either communication, public relations, journalism, media, a related field or related work experience;
  • Diverse experience working on migration and social services related issues including education, social security, labour, documentations, health as they relate to refugees and migrants and understanding of asylum seeker, refugee and immigration laws is a prerequisite;
  • Job related knowledge required for this position includes public relations/media, branding and marketing, social/digital media, WordPress, publishing (print and electronic), production, and impact monitoring;
  • Willingness to work after hours and on weekends when required;
  • Knowledge of any African language or French language will be an advantage;
  • Valid Drivers’ license is essential
  • Travelling out of the Gauteng province, regionally and internationally is a must.

Application can be sent to:
Ms Gloria Makxeta – Finance and Admin Officer

Email: info@cormsa.org.za or Fax: + 27 11 403 7559. Tel: 011 403 7560.

NB! Please, take note that if you do not hear from us within two weeks of the application closing date, consider your application unsuccessful. Application closes on 30th October 2020 at 4pm.

Vacant Position: Communications and Media Officer.

Opportunity closing date: Friday, 30 October, 2020Opportunity type: Employment

Vacant Position at CoRMSA Re: Communication and Media Officer
To be based in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Opportunity type: 1st December 2020 to 31st December 2021.  
Employment Type: Full time (5 days a week)
Closing date: 30th October 2020.
Report Directly to the Director.
 
The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA / the Consortium) is a national network with a current number of twenty-six (26) member organisations in good standing whose main objectives and mission are the promotion and protection of the human rights of asylum seekers, refugees and other international migrants in ways that promote the well-being of all in South Africa and the region. The Consortium has over twenty years of experience working on migration and refugee protection engaging in advocacy and lobbying, including policy submissions; coordination and network building; capacity building; community engagement and dialogue; rights awareness and information sharing. Our member organisations include legal practitioners, community-based refugee- and migrant-led organisations, advice offices, academic institutions, and social service providers amongst others.

Responsibilities:

  • Work in close collaboration with other staff, CoRMSA network members and partners to advocate on matters of Social Justice as they impact on social services, basic human rights and respect to human dignity relating to non-nationals (asylum seekers, refugees and migrants).   
  • Develop and use innovative tools and promotional material for effective knowledge sharing, lobbying, campaigning, networking and resource mobilisation;
  • Write and edit copy for communication products, including media statements, op-eds, mailers, and other products for a variety of audiences;
  •  Contribute to media monitoring, analyse media coverage and identify media opportunities related CoRMSA’s work;
  • Develop and implement a Social Media Strategy including implementation of media strategies, tactics and messages, the production of communication products, [newsletters, and brochures].
  • Taking minutes that accurately reflect the decisions and discussion that took place during CoRMSA members meeting; workshops, dialogues, staff meetings, forums and networks gatherings etc;
  • Writing up these minutes in an agreed format (whether electronically or in hard copy) so that information can be easily discerned and communications are clear.
  • Distributing the minutes to the members timeously.
  • Ensuring that a copy is filed appropriately.
  • Represent CoRMSA in various forums and produce meeting reports thereof;
  • Build strategic relationships with relevant government departments and other institutions working with non-nationals in general and on access to social services in particular while identifying advocacy opportunities and strategies for engaging;
  • Ensures that CoRMSA norms and code of conducts are maintained all the times;
  • Media Communications on issues  related to specific populations known as CoRMSA beneficiaries (asylum seekers, refugees and migrants);
  • Assist CoRMSA staff in drafting identifying and drafting of Funding Proposals for CoRMSA;
  • Perform any other operational duties as per the Director directive that will benefit CoRMSA.
  • Management of Members through regular communication and management of the CORMSA membership Data base and related social media platforms.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree/diploma/higher certificate with major subjects in either communication, public relations, journalism, media, a related field or related work experience;
  • Diverse experience working on migration and social services related issues including education, social security, labour, documentations, health as they relate to refugees and migrants and understanding of asylum seeker, refugee and immigration laws is a prerequisite;
  • Job related knowledge required for this position includes public relations/media, branding and marketing, social/digital media, WordPress, publishing (print and electronic), production, and impact monitoring;
  • Willingness to work after hours and on weekends when required;
  • Knowledge of any African language or French language will be an advantage;
  • Valid Drivers’ license is essential
  • Travelling out of the Gauteng province, regionally and internationally is a must.

Application can be sent to:
Ms Gloria Makxeta – Finance and Admin Officer

Email: info@cormsa.org.za or Fax: + 27 11 403 7559. Tel: 011 403 7560.

NB! Please, take note that if you do not hear from us within two weeks of the application closing date, consider your application unsuccessful. Application closes on 30th October 2020 at 4pm.

[PRESS STATEMENT] National Heritage Day 2020 | Building a #CollectiveCulture

The 24th of September, Heritage Day, in South Africa, is reserved as a national public holiday to celebrate the diverse cultures and traditions that make up South Africa’s contemporary social life.

South Africa’s history is scarred by divisive regimes including colonialism and apartheid which sought to create a segregated and unequal society through a racialized social structure. In celebrating South Africa’s liberation and the wealth of cultural diversity. This day of celebration enables the prioritisation of the all people from across the African continent and rest of the world who contribute to the rich cultures and forms of knowledge we have in South Africa today.

The theme for Heritage Day 2020 is celebrating South Africa’s living treasures’[1]. In launching this theme Minister Nathi Mthethwa noted that the Department of Arts and Culture would double-up the effort in ensuring that these suppressed knowledge forms receive the recognition and support they deserve; not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because of the potentiality of their political economy.’ This was also echoed by President of Republic of South Africa in his speech on the easing of lockdown alert level on the 16th September 2020 when he reiterated that “I urge everyone to use this public holiday as family time, to reflect on the difficult journey we have all travelled, to remember those who have lost their lives, and to quietly rejoice in the remarkable and diverse heritage of our nation”. He further   indicated that it will take the combined effort of each and every South African to restore our nation to prosperity and development.

For inquiries or more information please contact: Thifulufheli Sinthumule (CoRMSA) thifulufheli@cormsa.org.za/+27 71 358 0059 or Muluti Phiri advocacy@cormsa.org.za/+27 71 15 00113 Abigail Dawson (CoRMSA)  communications@cormsa.org.za/ +27 74 851 5683


[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

[PRESS STATEMENT] Youth Day 2020: Black Youth Lives Matter

Immediate release:                                                                                                                  16 June 2020

 

[PRESS STATEMENT] Youth Day 2020 “Black Youth Lives Matter ”

 

June 16th is South Africa’s Youth Day in commemoration of the 1976 Soweto Youth uprising. On this day, thousands of students from Soweto protested in defiance to Bantu Education, which institutionalised Afrikaans as a medium language of instruction. The Soweto uprising was a series of demonstrations and protests led by black school children in South Africa that began on the morning of 16 June 1976. Over 10 000 peaceful protesting students were met by heavily armed police who fired live ammunition on protesting students, killing many innocent lives. This uprising gave significant strength to the liberation struggle in exposing the brutality of the apartheid state.

South Africa commemorates Youth Day annually in remembrance of the significance of the Soweto uprising and the bravery of those who fought and lost their lives for equality and justice for all who live in South Africa.  This year’s Youth Day is being commemorated in the midst of a global health pandemic, COVID-19, which has fundamentally affected and changed the way we think about our futures. At the same time the global #BlackLivesMatter movement is continuing efforts to dismantle and rise up against historical structural racism which has resulted in police brutality, inequality, xenophobia, racism and disregard for human rights.

In South Africa, COVID-19 has once again revealed the absence of real transformation to ensure the wellness and dignity of all people living in South Africa. The #BlackLivesMatter movement shows yet again the strength, solidarity and importance of young people in re imagining the world they want to live in, similar to the struggles of the 1976 youth in Soweto.

Read Full Statement here

[PRESS STATEMENT] Child Protection Week

In light of child protection week, as organisations that work with vulnerable children, we call on the South African government to note that the pandemic will gravely impact the most vulnerable children in our society. Vulnerable children include: unaccompanied and separated migrant children, stateless and disabled children who may or may not be documented. With the lockdown many of these children will be severely impacted pressured by growing economic vulnerability in households and increasing the threats of abuse, malnutrition, abandonment and exploitation.

Read our full statement here: https://adobe.ly/3ct9pt6

Guide to Working with Vulnerable Children in South Africa

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA), Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) and The Scalabrini Center of Cape Town (SCCT) have developed a Guide to Working with Vulnerable Children in South Africa.

This guide can be used by social workers, professionals working in child protection and the general public to provide you with more information on identifying vulnerable children, their rights and various pathways for documentation, a key component to ensure protection.

As we mark Child Protection Week we are calling on all who live in South Africa to pledge their protection of #AllChildren to ensure the prosperity of South Africa’s future.

 

You can download the guide here