Calls to stand #WithRefugees ahead of World Refugee Day

Calls to stand with Refugees ahead of World Refugee Day

With the recent xenophobic attacks in Durban still fresh in our minds and thousands trekking to Europe daily after fleeing war in their countries, South Africa celebrates World Refugee day today.


Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba will lead commemorations by visiting a Johannesburg shelter catering mainly for migrant women and children, and also meet with representatives from the refugee community at the Catholic Archdiocese.

He will be joined by his deputy, Fatima Chohan and officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Meanwhile, Siphiwe Sangqu of the Agency for Refugee Education, Skills Training and Advocacy says refugees need to feel welcome in our country.

"We are looking to get the whole community involved, but as well as refugees and asylum seekers because we are trying to get them to also understand that they are welcome in South Africa - that they are safe and that they can live and pursue their lives in the country. So, we are just going to be making a statement that we are standing together with refugees."

"People can follow #WithRefugees and they can also go onto the website of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to sign a petition and also see the stories that are going around the world about standing together with refugees," she added.

Last year, seven people where killed and about 5 000 displaced when violence against foreign nationals broke out south of Durban and spread to other parts of the metro.

Some of those affected have returned to their home countries while others have been re-integrated into their communities in eThekwini. 

A number of migrants however are still living in limbo in the city centre as they are either still scared to return to their Durban homes or want the government to send them to Canada and countries in Europe.

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