The ICJ today denounced before the UN Human Rights Council the rampant xenophobic and racial discrimination perpetrated against non-citizens in South Africa.
The statement reads as follows:
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) condemns the rampant xenophobic and racial discrimination perpetrated against non-citizens in South Africa.
Amid a high unemployment rate, extreme poverty, and vast wealth inequality lies widespread “anti-foreigner” sentiment. This often manifests in threats of violence or escalates into actual attacks against non-citizens due to unfounded perceptions that they take jobs and other benefits from South Africans.
The ICJ welcomes the long-overdue launch of the Department of Justice’s National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance as a key commitment on the part of government to prevent and eradicate xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination. However, the ICJ is gravely concerned that the lack of accountability for crimes and other attacks committed against non-citizens, as well as government’s silence and inappropriate responses to such incidents, has facilitated the proliferation of violent “anti-immigrant” vigilante groups such as ‘Operation Dudula’.
We call on the South African authorities to take positive and coordinated steps to protect and promote the rights of non-citizens to equality, freedom from torture, dignity and work by curbing vigilantism, holding perpetrators of violence to account and revising the legal and policy reform measures that may have the effect of entrenching xenophobia.
Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949AdvocacyNon-legal submissions