Exploring issues affecting migrants in South Africa
In conversation with Ms Abigail Dawson
Throughout its history, Africa has experienced migratory movements that are both voluntary and forced and this have contributed to its contemporary demographic landscape. In many parts of the continent, communities bound together by languages, history and tradition are spread across two or three nation states, and movement is often not limited by political boundaries. Migration in Africa is a result of a number of factors, which include the need for improved socio-economic conditions through employment, environmental factors, as well as fleeing from political instability, conflict and civil strife.
The 2019 African Union theme speaks to forced displacement, which is a major issue confronting the African continent. More than a third of the world’s forcibly displaced people are in Africa: this include 6.3 million refugees and asylum-seekers, and 14.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). The Africa Union theme ‘Year of Refugees, Returnees and IDPs: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa’ urges leaders and civil society to act promptly to protect migrants. With the wave of xenophobic violence and other intolerances in many parts of the continent, the need to protect migrants has increasingly become important. In pursuit of protecting the rights of migrants, this conversation aims to addresses the challenge of xenophobia and to monitor and promote the daily experiences of migrants living in South Africa. The hope is to promote a culture that prevents discrimination of other people based on their nationality as well to enhance a culture of diversity.
In this episode, Abigail Dawson talks about the challenges that migrants face in South Africa. She is a qualified social worker and offers voluntary counselling for migrant women and children. She is the Communications and Media Officer at the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) which is a national network of organisations working with asylum seekers, refugees and international migrants in South Africa. Its main objectives are the promotion and protection of the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and international migrants. CoRMSA operates at the national, regional and global level with strategic support to members at local and provincial levels.
This conversation was recorded on 21 October 2019.
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