IOM Joins UNHCR and Partners to Mark World Refugee Day in South Africa
On the 20th of June 2012, IOM joined UNHCR together with partners to commemorate World Refugee Day in Soweto, South Africa under the theme One Family Torn Apart by War it Too Many We are all different, we are all equal Ubuntu has no borders.
The event will also feature a performance by the Soweto Gospel Choir – 3 time Grammy award winners and a keynote address by the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs in South Africa, Ms Fatima Chohan.
More than 42 million people around the world have been forcibly displaced from their homes and communities. More than a million fled their countries in the last 18 months alone due to a wave of conflicts, in Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan and Syria. These numbers represent far more than statistics; they are individuals and families whose lives have been upended, whose communities have been destroyed, and whose future remains uncertain.
"We must work together to mobilize the political will and leadership to prevent and end the conflicts that trigger refugee flows. [...] Despite budget constraints everywhere, we must not turn away from those in need. Refugees leave because they have no choice. We must choose to help", says the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.
In South Africa, IOM works closely with UNHCR to coordinate pre-entry medical assessment and the transport logistics for refugee resettlement cases. Refugees are commonly resettled to the United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.
For more than 60 years, IOM has played a vital role in resettlement around the world.Resettlement is a sometimes unrecognized yet compelling instrument and symbol of international solidarity and burden sharing to find a durable solution for refugees who are either unable to return to their country of origin for fear of continued persecution or do not have the option to stay in their country of asylum.
This year World Refugee event was organised by UNHCR- the UN Refugee Agency, IOM- International Organization for Migration, Department of Home Affairs, City of Johannesburg, CORMSA- Coalition for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa, CSVR – Center for the Study of Violence and Reconcilation, Catholic Commission of Justice and Peace, Creative South Africa, JRS – Jesuit Refugee Services, RAO- Refugee Aid Organisation, RMC – Refugee Ministries Centre, PWC Art and Sonke Gender Justice