Asylum seekers rescued from Libyan prisons and sent to Rwanda for processing, play at the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) Gashora transit centre, in Bugesera, eastern Rwanda June 10, 2022.

As the world marks World Refugee Day on Monday, the Southern African Institute for Responsive and Accountable Governance (SAIRAG) says all nations are obligated to receive and host refugees as members of the United Nations (UN) family.

According to the UNHCR, the number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution has now surpassed 100 million for the first time on record. 

A recent Ipsos report, the Ukraine crisis has increased public openness to refugees and reversed some of the concerns raised by the coronavirus pandemic.

Institute Chairperson Tseliso Thipanyane says South Africa is, however, experiencing Afro-phobia due to corruption.

Thipanyane says, “In terms of the constitution there should be no difference really between asylum seekers, and refugees, and nationals either than voting rights. Unfortunately in our country, due to the problems of the non-nationals and corruption.”

“There’s an also increasing afro-phobia against African migrants, then we are clouding the distinction between foreigners, asylum seekers, and people who are undocumented in our country, and I think it’s important for us to appreciate that difference.”


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