Issued by the Southern African Development Community and the African Population Commission, 11 June 2008
Joint statement of SADC/APC southern region population and development officials on xenophobia:
We, Members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Population Commission (APC) Southern Region, gathered at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West, South Africa on 5 June 2008 on the occasion of the Technical Meeting on Population and Development.
1. The Declaration, Treaty and Protocol of the Southern African Development Community, 1980.
2. The African (Banjul) Charter on Human Rights and People’s Rights, 1986.
3. The Plan of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and the Dakar/Ngor Declaration on Population and Development.
4. The Programme of Action of the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
5. The Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action of 1993 of the Conference on Human Rights.
6. The SADC/APC Resolutions on Population and Development, 2007.
7. The SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons, 2005.
8. The Southern African Development Community Social Charter, 2003.
9. The SADC Declaration on Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development, 2008.
ACKNOWLEDGING that Xenophobia can undermine sustainable political, social, economic development and regional integration in southern Africa.
· Xenophobia is one of the main sources of discrimination and conflict which require urgent attention.
· Despite the efforts by governments and local communities, the scourge of Xenophobia and related intolerance persists.
· Not enough attention is been given to address the challenges of service delivery among each Member States’ citizens resulting in problems like Xenophobia and related consequences.
· Xenophobia is a threat to political, social and economic stability in southern Africa.
· If Xenophobia is not given regional attention it may strain the existing political relations between Member States.
· Xenophobia is causing displacement of people, including children, women and the disabled, with dire social, health, economic and related consequences.
We therefore, COMMIT ourselves to:
1. Fight Xenophobia through various national and regional policies and programmes including regional information exchange.
2. Ensure that appropriate policies, projects and programmes are used to address the challenge of Xenophobia and other consequences.
WE CALL UPON:
3. Member States to combat the manifestation of generalized rejection of migrants and discourage all actions generating Xenophobia.
4. Member States to support to national, regional and continental efforts to promote peaceful co-existence and tolerance of migrants, elimination Xenophobia and related intolerance based on race, gender, religion and others, including at the workplace.
5. Member States to promote respect for, and protection of, the rights of migrants including combating discrimination and Xenophobia through inter alia civic education and awareness-raising activities.
6. Member States to develop policies, projects and programmes to operationalize the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons.
7. Member States to strengthen national laws and policies regulating migration including through the creation of clear, transparent categories for admission/expulsion and eligibility criteria for protection.
8. Member States to encourage more legal channels and orderly migration and provide humane treatment for migrants.
9. Member States to ensure the implementation of protection obligations arising out of the relevant treaties, registration and issuance of identity documents, access to work and education opportunities, treatment according to internationally accepted standards, through incorporation into national legislation and policy.
10. Member States to establish effective and fair procedures for individualized refugee status determinations, including granting refugees meaningful access to such procedures.
11. Member States to safeguard the human security needs of refugees (physical, material, legal and health).
12. Member States to engage in public information and awareness campaigns on the plight and rights of refugees including the contribution refugees can make to the development of host communities, in order to counter increasing Xenophobic tendencies and foster tolerance and understanding.
13. Member States to disseminate information about migrants to promote respect for, tolerance and understanding of migrants, and to counter anti-immigrant and Xenophobic attitudes.
14. Member States to develop policies, projects and programmes to protect women and child migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, and also combat human trafficking in all its forms.
15. Member States to work closely with relevant United Nations institutions, private sector and civil society organizations in the region to address Xenophobia and related consequences.
Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West, South Africa, June 5, 2008