News & events


Addressing the Marginalization of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Foreign Workers in South Africa

24 June 2021
11:00 - 13:30

24 June, 2021 | 11:00-13:30

Zoom link:

The South African government is committed to fighting xenophobia and providing a welcoming environment for documented migrants living in the country, despite the devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on countries’ fiscal resources throughout the world. Among other things, the pandemic has forced countries to close their borders to manage rates of infection and redirect scarce national resources to meeting the needs of citizens who have already been affected by the lockdown situations.

While the availability of vaccines have been positive for the economic recovery of many countries, there are new concerns emerging including the impact of “vaccine passports” on the free movement of people.  National vaccination programmes will also not mean an automatic recovery of the economy, which has contracted by 7% and is predicted to only be likely to return to pre-Covid-19 levels by 2023/24.  Unemployment figures announced by Statistician-General Risenga Maluleka earlier this month indicate that, at 32.6% it is at the level last seen 13 years ago.

What then does a shrinking tax base and fewer fiscal resources mean for how South Africa fulfils its international obligations to fight xenophobia? How will our nation protect refugees, asylum seekers and foreign workers from discrimination?

Join the HSRC in Dialogue with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services and Civil Society   in commemoration of World Refugee Day 2021 as we discuss this complex issue and share findings of work done on South African attitudes and perceptions towards refugees.

Chair:    Dr Konosoang Sobane (Impact Centre)

Panel:   Dr Steven Gordon (HSRC DCES)

Ms Danaline Franzman, Chief Director: Social Justice and Participatory Democracy, Department of Justice and Correctional Services

Mr Amir Sheikh, Chairman of the Somali Community Board

Ms Sharon S Ekambaram, Manager, Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme, Lawyers for Human Rights