For Immediate Release: 16thNovember 2019.
International Day for Tolerance: Upholding the Human Rights of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants.
International Day for Tolerance was established by the United Nations in 1996 to be a reminder of the principles that inspired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. This day is aimed at spreading a value – tolerance – which is central to universal human rights and fundamental freedoms.
This day is significant in the current era characterised byrising xenophobia, widespread violence, growing intolerances, injustice and human rights violations, largely characterized by a fundamental disregard for human rights, against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.
South Africa’s history is marked by institutionalized and societal intolerances. Under apartheid, immense discrimination and violence were instituted against black South Africans. The apartheid legacy continues into contemporary South Africa. Non- nationals fleeing poverty, violence and seeking out a better life in South Africa are the victims of everyday marginalization and discrimination. The recent looting of non-nationals’ shops, massive destruction of property and killings in different parts of the country reminded us yet again, of the deep-rooted attitudes of prejudice and xenophobia against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants living in South Africa.
On this day, The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) is calling on all government leaders, relevant authorities and South African citizens to desist from negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Instead, welcome and aim to strengthen social cohesion between host communities and refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, ensuring that their fundamental rights as laid out in Chapter 2 of the Constitution are realized and make available efficient services to provide them legal stay in South Africa.
It is therefore, important that we all commit ourselves to effectively promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants regardless of their documentation status and work towards the inclusion and recognition of the value that refugees, asylum seekers and migrants bring to South Africa.
For inquiries or more information please contact: Thifulufheli Sinthumule (CoRMSA) firstname.lastname@example.org/+27 71 358 0059 or Muluti Phiri (CoRMSA) email@example.com/+27711500113 or Abigail Dawson (CoRMSA) firstname.lastname@example.org/+27748515683