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Media Centre  |  Declarations

Declaration on the xenophobic attacks against Migrants in South Africa

20 April 2015

We, the 30 participants from ILO, ITUC, COSATU, FEDUSA, NACTU, SADSAWU, WIEGO, StreetNet International, SAITA, SAWPA, SASEWA, MWASA, ADWN and NALEDI gathered on the 15-17th of April 2015 at the Birchwood Conference Centre, Johannesburg and to participate in the ILO Policy Dialogue workshop on the “Formalisation of Informal Economy” in preparation for the adoption of a Recommendation at the next ILO conference in June 2015 , strongly condemn the ongoing xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa in the recent months.

We participants are very concerned that such attacks occur in the shadow of the recent adoption in 2014, of the SADC Labour Migration Policy framework by South Africa aimed at “promoting the rights of migrant workers and their families/ promotion of Basic human rights; right to life; opinion and expression; liberty and security; freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment; children’s rights”
Noting that these are well-coordinated xenophobic attacks targeted at those from African countries and sparked off by irresponsible statements from some of those in authority;
Believe that:
• There is a strong need to respect and preserve life irrespective of nationality
• Natural migration exists all over the world and is a permanent feature on the continent
• South Africa is part of a global village hence it has to be tolerant towards the movement of labour and capital,
Demand that the government:
• takes necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of all migrants in South Africa in respect of the provisions in the Constitution,
• respect and implement the provisions of international instruments related to all migrant workers and members of their families,
• ratifies and implements the spirit and principles of the SADC Protocol on Free Movement of People
• improves the immigration permit regime in order to facilitate legalization of all migrants,
• acts decisively on this matter and ensure prevention of such attacks in future.
We participants appeal to political parties, trade unions and civil society organisations to:
• Actively discourage their members from participating in such barbaric attacks,
• Educate all members on the values of peace, integration and solidarity,
• Encourage members to participate in re-integrative initiatives being carried out by civil society organisations, religious groups and others in communities.

For more information contact:
Cde Theo Steele
COSATU Organizing Secretary
Cell: 0825636955
Email: Theo@cosatu.org.za