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Events2020-07-13T10:15:30+00:00

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Contribution of Refugees & Migrants to South Africa

20 June: International Refugee Day

Universal Right Association (URA) is a civil society organization dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights, the rule of law, democracy, peace and sustainable development prescribed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. URA focuses on creating awareness and advice solutions on social issues, injustices and human rights abuses which affects the daily life of people. 

According to UNHCR and WHO at least 70.8 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 25.9 million refugees and more people are on the move now than ever before. (1) There are an estimated 1 billion migrants in the world today. (2)

Only in 2018, 13.6 million people were newly displaced, either as refugees or internally displaced people. The number of refugees and migrants is on the rise every year and we have to pay more attention to this new fact for social cohesion and peace in our communities and the world. (3)

According to Statistics South Africa, there were 2.2 million people were living in South Africa who were born outside the country in 2011. (4) Even though we don’t have exact numbers but the estimation of the population of refugees and migrants goes up to few millions today in South Africa. (5)

As in some incidents, migrants and refugees are being claimed as some negativities in South Africa and the world. We would like to take a look at the migrants and refugees from a different point of view and talk about their contribution to South African society.

We talked with panelists about the contributions of refugees and migrants including the communities that they represent:

* What are their projects that contributes to South African society?

* What kind of projects they have during the lockdown to support South Africa?

* What are their recommendations to refugees and migrants in South Africa to contribute to SA more? 

Universal Rights Association (URA)

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. (M.L.King Jr.)

Interaction between Covid-19 and Media Freedom

The whole of humanity is battling to contain the pandemic and governments all around the world are taking some measures which seriously change the daily life. Millions of lives directly affected by the virus and hundreds of thousands of lives got lost. The health and wellbeing of all should take precedence during these difficult times. 

3rd May World Press Freedom Day declared by United Nations General Assembly in the early 90s.

Free Media as one of the main pillars of democracy, has always been very important. But access to free and accurate information became vital during these extraordinary times and we believe that we must pay extra attention to media freedom.

To understand the effect of free media and tackle the challenges we will be talking about:

Do media freedom and transparency affect the spread and the impact of COVID19?

Do COVID19 and restrictions taken by governments affect media freedom and transparency?

What are the challenges of access to free and accurate information today?

How much will/should media be free after this pandemic for the safety of the people around the world?

How should the balance be between media freedom and fake news especially from a social media perspective and what are the challenges?

Join us live on our Facebook page.

Rights of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers During Lockdown

Universal Right Association (URA) is a civil society organization dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights, the rule of law, democracy, peace and sustainable development prescribed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. URA focuses on creating awareness and advice solutions on social issues, injustices and human rights abuses which affects the daily life of people.

Millions of lives directly affected by Coronavirus pandemic and tens of thousands of lives got lost. The health and wellbeing of all should take precedence during these difficult times. The whole of humanity is battling to contain the pandemic and governments are taking certain measures which seriously effects the daily life.

Lives of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees have already been difficult even before the pandemic and it became more uncertain and worrisome after the lockdown regulations. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers should know and practice their rights properly in these extraordinary times. With the breakout of the COVID19 pandemic, lots of fake news and information started spreading out especially via social media and access to accurate and authentic information became vital. To avoid perplexity, we will be discussing, giving necessary information and answering questions via a zoom meeting with the experts.

Please join us and feel free to ask questions if you have one.

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, what are your rights during the lockdown period?

Universal Rights Association (URA)

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. (M.L.King Jr.)

WOMAN AS A Defender of Human Rights

WOMAN AS A Victim of Human Rights Abuse

We had an amazing discussion on

WOMAN AS A Defender of Human Rights

WOMAN AS A Victim of Human Rights Abuse

  1. If being a woman makes a difference in terms of being a defender of human rights and a victim of human rights abuses.
  2. If so what are the challenges in those areas?
  3. What are the strong sides of being a woman in those areas?
  4. What are the (if any) weakening sides of being a woman in those areas?
  5. What are the reactions of international and South African societies to woman victim/defender?
  6. What is your advice to victim women?
  7. What are the responsibilities of the rest of society?

with

Commissioner Angie Makwetla

She worked for many years with the late Dr Aggrey Klaaste, managing the Sowetan Nation Building Programs. Angie was appointed as a Commissioner for Human Rights in 2017.  She is responsible for children’s rights within the commission.

She is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) where she was chairperson of the Social and Ethics Committee. She is also a trustee of the Dr Thandi Ndlovu Children’s Foundation.

She has received various awards and recognitions, including Shoprite/Checkers Woman of the Year Award (Media & Communications category), Visionary Leadership Award by the Soweto branch of the BWA.

Sharone Akambaram

Sharon is an activist.  In the 1980s she was involved in education for liberation struggles working with young people who were forced to flee from their communities due to apartheid state repression and violence by the IFP. She was a party observer for the 1994 democratic elections as a representative of the ANC in Hillbrow. She also worked with the Treatment Action Campaign at its inception in the struggle for access to treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS, and later worked for the AIDS Consortium. Before joining LHR as the Head of the Refugee and Migrant Rights Project, Sharon worked for the international medical humanitarian organization –Doctors Wit out Borders as the founding Director.

“The End of Democracy and Rule of Law: Case of Turkey”.

We made the launch of our photography exhibition with a panel discussion at Constitution Hill on
“The End of Democracy and Rule of Law: Case of Turkey”.
Why should we be an active citizen and protect our democracy and rule of law in South Africa?
with   

Amina Frense:

Journalist, Editor, Former Managing Editor of News and Current Affairs at the SABC. Founder and Council member of SANEF- the SA Editors Forum, Deputy Chairperson of the SA Press Council and on the Board of Directors of the IAJ – Institute for the Advancement of Journalism.

we have discussed on

  • Why should we be an active citizen?
  • Does democracy need protection by the citizens?
  • What may happen if we don’t protect our democracy?
  • What is the relationship between democracy and rule of law?
  • What are the similarities between things happening in Turkey today and the apartheid South Africa?
  • Can we find any connections in our country between the past and today via Turkish example and consolidate with today’s challenges in South Africa.

Our photography exhibition is still on show at Constitution Hill.

20 February World Day of Social Justice

“Effect of Social Justice on Migration”
It was such a joyful and informative evening. We had such an amazing discussion. We thank all our panelists and participants.

Concert for Refugees

Unity for Human Dignity