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Anti-discrimination cooperation in South Africa

OHCHR and SAHRC sign an agreement to address discrimination © OHCHRThe UN Human Rights regional office for Southern Africa based in Pretoria, South Africa entered into an agreement with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to address discrimination against non-nationals in the country.

In 2008 and 2009, more than 60 foreigners were killed in South Africa and some 100,000 displaced by violent xenophobic attacks which targeted primarily migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers from neighbouring countries.

The $100,000 anti-discrimination project funded by the UN Human Rights office will be spearheaded by the SAHRC and will run from July 2010 to June 2011. The Commission will provide legal assistance to victims of xenophobia and monitor allegations of human rights abuses directed at non-nationals in South Africa. Furthermore, the SAHRC will work to raise awareness of human rights in order to mitigate discrimination and violence in local communities. Capacity building of the Commission itself is also provided for under the agreement.

The Government of South Africa, which condemned the rising tide of violence in 2009, is actively involved with the SAHRC and civil society to develop a National Action Plan on Racism as stipulated in the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference.

The UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay announced the joint project with SAHRC during a visit to Pretoria on 10 December 2009, Human Rights Day.

20 July 2010