GENEVA, Switzerland, April 24, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Responding to the recent spate of the violence against migrants in South Africa, largely in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) and Gauteng provinces, IOM is assisting victims of the violence. Over 8,000 migrants have been displaced since the violence broke out three weeks ago and they are currently accommodated in various shelters operated by the government, churches, mosques and NGOs.
Governments from several neighbouring countries have sent buses to help their citizens to return home. IOM is supporting these returns by providing expertise on the eligibility of the travellers and ensuring that all returns are voluntary. In addition, IOM is facilitating the return of unaccompanied minors, medical cases and migrants in other vulnerable categories.
IOM is also helping the government with the organization of social cohesion events, in order to facilitate dialogue between migrant and host communities. It is also calling for stabilization of the affected areas, a return to the rule of law, protection of migrants, and the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators through national and local media.
In partnership with 18 media outlets, IOM is also broadcasting a campaign of tolerance and social cohesion, called: “I Am a Migrant Too”.
IOM, together with UN agencies, NGO and academic partners, is proposing to address the issue comprehensively by analysing the root causes of violence against migrants; improving the image of migration; coming up with government policy recommendations to address the issue; and involving civil society in promoting peaceful and productive cohabitation.
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