Youth Impact Network condemns SA Xenophobic Attacks

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A Civil Society Organization; Youth Impact Network (YIN) has condemned  the resurgence of xenophobic violent attacks on nationals of other African countries in South Africa.

The Organization, formerly known as Youth African Leaders Network Ghana (YALN) insists that the violent attacks witnessed in South Africa constitute “possible violationos of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter)”. They also say it flies in the face of the principles and ideals of African solidarity.

A press statement released by the organization called on the government of South Africa to fully respect and ensure that all members of the South African public also respect the human rights and freedoms of non-nationals living in South Africa. They also request the Government of South Africa to take deliberate and urgent action to address the underlying social and economic conditions that ferment sentiments against foreign nationals, particularly those coming from other African countries, including through creating conditions for instituting community dialogue that promotes tolerance, peaceful co-existence and harmony in communities where non-nationals reside and work.

YIN is also urging political parties, politicians, community leaders and individuals to refrain from statements or actions that stoke, incite or encourage anti-foreign sentiments and violence against non-nationals, particularly those coming from other African countries.

The youth-focused organization wants International bodies such as IOM, OHCHR, AU, ILO and UNHCR to intensify oversight, training, human and financial resources to anti-xenophobia programming. YIN also calls on the Government of South Africa to ensure effective follow up of the National Action Plan to Combat xenophobia, racism and discrimination, focusing particularly on putting policy measures and programs for addressing incidents of xenophobia, which have become recurrent.

Youth Impact Network also wants fellow Civil Society Organizations to take actions in promoting peace and publicly rebuke acts of xenophobia and discrimination.

About YIN

The Youth Impact Network (YIN) is a registered not for profit organization. It is a network of young professionals and tertiary students that seek to promote the development of entrepreneurial skills, civic advocacy, youth mentorship and public leadership in Ghana. Our vision is to be the preferred and leading platform for young leaders to network, learn and make Impact to national and global development.

Projects implemented include:

oAsiKaso School Project

o Localizing the SDGs (Youth Lead Forum)

o Donate2Impact

o YIN Youth Entrepreneurial Seminar

o Supporting Clever Lady Impact Project

o YIN Peer Mentorship Programme (PMP)

o YIN Business & Social Enterprise Support Services (BuSES)

o YIN SHS Mentorship Program (SMP)

YIN has also partnered and played key roles in the following projects:

o Youth for Peace Walk 2016 – with Dels Foundation

o Ghana Youth Speak 2017 – with AIESEC Ghana

o Model ECOWAS Summit 2018 – with African Youth Network for Leaders and Development

o Ghana Youth Walk7 to Promote Cross Cultural Understanding and Peaceful Society – with Black Berry Show (Yfm)

PLEASE READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

PRESS STATEMENT BY YOUTH IMPACT NETWORK (YIN) ON XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS IN SOUTH AFRICA

YOUTH IMPACT NETWORK CONDEMNS XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS

The Youth Impact Network (YIN) has been following, particularly through its structures on South Africa, reports of attacks against in particular nationals of other African countries, including refugees, migrants and asylum seekers that took place recently in parts of Johannesburg, Pretoria and other neighbouring towns.

The Organization, formerly known as Youth African Leaders Network Ghana, (YALN), has learnt from various reports that businesses belonging to non-nationals were vandalized, looted and burnt in several parts of Johannesburg, including in the Central Business District and the township of Alexandra. The Organization is saddened to learn that in addition to the loss and destruction of property – which will inevitably affect livelihoods – the xenophobic attacks have also led to the loss of lives. The Organization further notes that these attacks have followed from other recent attacks against foreign owned businesses in Marabastad, Pretoria.

Youth Impact Network totally rejects and strongly condemns the resurgence of xenophobic violent attacks as acts that not only constitute possible violations of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) but are also contrary to the principles and ideals of African solidarity cherished in the African Charter.

The Organization expresses its alarm and deep concern about not only the recurrence of xenophobic attacks particularly against nationals from other African countries  but would also want to point out that the principle of equal treatment of migrants in matters of employment has been enshrined in several ILO Conventions and Recommendations. The 1949 Convention No. 97 concerning Migration for Employment proscribed discrimination against immigrants in respect of nationality, race, sex, or religion.

Youth Impact Network reiterates the obligations of South Africa under the African Charter to ensure that all persons, including foreign nationals, enjoy the rights and freedoms guaranteed in the African Charter without discrimination, including the right to equality, dignity and the security of their person and property as enshrined under Articles 3, 4, 5 and 14 of the charter.

The Organization also recalls Resolution ACHPR/Res.131 (XXXXIII) and Resolution ACHPR/Res.304 (LVI) as well as its press statements of 2017 and 4 April 2019, which expressed grave concern over xenophobic attacks that took place in 2008, 2015, 2017 and 2019 respectively.

In the light of the foregoing, the Organization therefore:

Reiterates a call to the Government of South Africa to fully respect and ensure respect by all members of the South African public the human rights and freedoms of non-nationals living in South Africa, including persons from other African countries, refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, with particular attention to women and girls who are particularly vulnerable to xenophobic attacks;

Calls on the Government of South Africa to ensure that security measures to protect foreign nationals vulnerable to xenophobic attacks are reinforced and that a commission of Inquiry is put in place to investigate the recent attacks including gender based violence, report on the circumstances leading to the attacks and persons who should be held accountable for their actions;

Urges political parties, politicians, community leaders and individuals to refrain from statements or actions that stoke, incite or encourage anti-foreign sentiments and violence against non-nationals, particularly those coming from other African countries;

Encourages International bodies such as IOM, OHCHR, AU, ILO and UNHCR to intensify oversight, training, human and financial resources to anti-xenophobia programming.

Calls on the Government of South Africa to ensure effective follow up of the National Action Plan to Combat xenophobia, racism and discrimination, focusing particularly on putting policy measures and programs for addressing incidents of xenophobia, which have become recurrent; and

Requests the Government of South Africa to take deliberate and urgent action to address the underlying social and economic conditions that ferment sentiments against foreign nationals, particularly those coming from other African countries, including through creating conditions for instituting community dialogue that promotes tolerance, peaceful co-existence and harmony in communities where non-nationals reside and work.

Calls on fellow Civil Society Organizations to take actions in promoting peace and publicly rebuke acts of xenophobia and discriminations.

We cannot over emphasize the benefits of peace in a country. Youth Impact Network strongly believes that an all-inclusive dialogue could be a gate way to conquer these attacks.

It is our hope that the South African Government, Police, International Bodies, CSOs and responsible individuals will protect the interest of all Africans in South Africa and put in measures to ensure that peace reigns.

Source: Ghana/otecfmghana.com

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