The UNHRC, the United Nations refugee agency, claims that at least 1,500 foreign nationals, mainly migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, were forced to leave their homes when there was increased violence against foreigners in South Africa.
UNHRC spokesman. Charlie Yaxley spoke on Friday in the Palais des Nations
in Geneva before media representatives.
Yaxley said the UNHRC was deeply concerned about the violence against foreigners. At least 12 people – South Africans and foreigners – were present. had been killed.
"Our employees have received a significant increase in calls from our telephone hotlines over the last few weeks, reporting that their homes and businesses have been plundered, buildings and property have been set on fire, and gangs have continued to increase in traffic and traffic the growing incidence of sexual and gender-based violence, "Yaxley said.
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"Many refugees are now too scared to go to work or do their daily routine despite the lack of income alternatives."
South Africa strengthened the UNHRC's operational presence in South Africa to ensure the safety of its refugees.
According to Yaxley, this would be done in collaboration with the South African Government, United Nations agencies, through the UN Working Group on Protection, chaired by the UNHCR and partners of non-governmental organizations and civil society.
He said the UNHRC will take decisive action in this regard.
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"We deploy additional human resources and resources, including relief supplies, shelters, psychosocial care, legal assistance and assistance in restoring lost livelihoods, and engage in dialogues with host communities to strengthen social cohesion."
This would Including UNHCR experts on child protection and sexuality and gender-based violence will arrive in the coming days, Yaxley said.
"About 800 people, mostly from Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, have sought shelter in community halls in Katlehong," he said, adding that many foreigners had left South Africa as a result of violence, including:
- 73 Malawians  138 Mozambican
- 314 Nigerians and
- 72 Zimbabweans
Yaxley explained that refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa feel uncomfortable and their situation is worsening due to a lack of documentation.
This means that they have difficulty accessing healthcare, education and public services.
"UNHCR calls on state authorities to take all possible measures to ensure the safety and well-being of people, and to make every effort to suppress violence and enforce the rule of law held accountable in court, "he said.
He added that the National Action Plan recently adopted by South Africa to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance must be implemented.
"Those with a voice in the public sphere have a responsibility to ensure that their language does not fuel the situation and that foreigners are not the scapegoats for complex socio-economic challenges," Yaxley said.