The Department of Home Affairs of the Republic of South Africa, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency will commemorate the World Refugee Day at the Pan-African Parliament (Midrand) on 20 June.
In line with the African Union 2019 theme “Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa,” the above institutions are jointly organising a panel discussion focusing on the positive contribution that refugees are able to make in their new societies if they receive initial support from various stakeholders.
The concerned parties include governments, international organisations, civil society, faith based organisations, host communities and private sector in the spirit of Global Compact on Refugees. The panel discussion will offer the opportunity for various stakeholders to share their knowledge and experience as well as highlight challenges and progress made.
The PAP President, the Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo DANG says the day presents an opportunity for leveraging reflections vis a vis legislation; the principal role of the continental Parliament which requires PAP Parliamentarians to ensure member-states adopt legal frameworks that protect the rights of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
“I implore all stakeholders to be part of this effort with which our continental Parliament, and partners endeavour to further seek to better understand our roles in strengthening and consolidating efforts to protect refugees. This is central to PAP’s law-making role as well as Parliaments’ contribution to the AU theme for 2019,” says Hon. Dang.
World Refugee Day is celebrated annually to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threats of persecution, conflict and violence. There are more than 68.5 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, of which 1/3 are Africans.
This year’s commemorative event will be graced by the triple Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir performance alongside Gihozo, a cultural group formed by Rwandan refugees.