Inclusion of refugees is ‘key to counter xenophobia’

Inclusion of refugees is ‘key to counter xenophobia’

Source https://headtopics.com/za/inclusion-of-refugees-is-key-to-counter-xenophobia-14188140

Inclusion of refugees is ‘key to counter xenophobia’

Experts are concerned about the plight of foreign nationals suffering from lack of access to services during the lockdown period.

05:10:07 AMPREMIUM!Congolese foreign nationals can be seen waiting to recieve food parcels from the DRC Embassy in Arcadia, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques NellesA new dialogue is under way to help integrate foreign nationals with South Africans to counter xenophobia and ensure harmony in the country. This emerged during a webinar dialogue by various social cohesion groups this week. They are concerned about the plight of foreign nationals suffering from lack of access to services during the lockdown period. They noted that, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 7.8 million people around the world had fled their homes. Turkey was the number one host, with Pakistan second, followed by Uganda, Sudan and Germany. They were also concerned that home…

A new dialogue is under way to help integrate foreign nationals with South Africans to counter xenophobia and ensure harmony in the country.This emerged during a webinar dialogue by various social cohesion groups this week. They are concerned about the plight of foreign nationals suffering from lack of access to services during the lockdown period.

They noted that, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 7.8 million people around the world had fled their homes. Turkey was the number one host, with Pakistan second, followed by Uganda, Sudan and Germany.They were also concerned that home affairs did not recognise nationality as a tool to create social cohesion. They noted that the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants differed from country to country. headtopics.com

Universal Rights Association director Atilla Dag said a refugee started in another country with huge disadvantages and often a lot of trauma.“The key word is empathy to achieve social cohesion. We all agree racism and discrimination are evil and never brought any good to humanity. It is unacceptable,” Dag said.

The groups were concerned that asylum seekers in South Africa were no longer able to access free medical assistance from hospitals.Those who had chronic illnesses particularly suffered severely during the lockdown. The government was blamed for this.Action Support Centre director Pretty Mncube said there should be no migrant/refugee issues in the world. If problems were solved in their home countries migrants or refugees could go back.

“Assisting refugees and locals to understand each other is a responsibility we can take together. We all have to take a step forward and learn the ways of integration,” Mncube said.The Human Right Commission’s Shafie Ameermia said the commission had been managing tensions between migrant communities and local ones.

“We need to embrace them in the spirit ofubuntuand freedom. We need to have a strong social integration policy. Bring out the richness of the society,” Ameermia said.Yasmin Rajah, director of Refugee Social Services, stressed that SA regulations were counter-intentional to social cohesion among nationalities. headtopics.com

“It takes a very long time for refugees to become citizens.“Something is fundamentally wrong in our implementing of policy,” Rajah said.UNHCR’s Cyril Mudakkali said South Africa was doing better than many other African countries. “Inclusion is the key. As much as you include refugees and asylum seekers into the community, it brings social cohesion with itself.”

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