Friday, April 20, 2012

Working Group On Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Migrants And Displaced Persons

A temporary shelter set up by migrants recently expelled from Morocco, PIX: MSF
We, civil society organizations (CSOs) meeting in Banjul on 16 April, 2012;

Recalling the resolution on the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and displaced persons adopted by the African NGO Forum in Banjul October 21, 2011 and submitted to the African Commission on Human Rights and Peoples;

Deeply concerned by the recent mass arrests targeting hundreds of sub-Saharan  nationals, including women and children in the cities of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou by Mauritanian security forces, their detention and their collective deportation towards the borders with Mali and Senegal;

Deeply concerned by the increase, since last fall, of violent roundups, robbery leading in some cases to killings of sub-Saharan nationals, including refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors and pregnant women in major cities of Morocco and the region of Nador and Oujda and mass-expulsion towards the Algerian border;  

Deeply concerned by the situation of 200 000 Malians who fled their country, in particular the lack of assistance to states where these refugees are located;

Deeply concerned by the proliferation of detention centers for migrants in many African countries;
Deeply concerned by increasingly restrictive asylum policies resulting in unreasonable length of asylum request processing time and the very low number of refugee status given in particularly in Senegal and South Africa;

Deeply concerned by the lack of access to justice and legal assistance;

Condemn the numerous violations of human rights protected under the African Charter on Human and Peoples' committed in the course of these events, including the principle of non-discrimination (Article 2), the right to respect for life and physical and moral integrity of the person (Article 4); the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 5); the prohibition of arbitrary arrest and detention (Article 6); the right to a fair trial and the right to seize the competent national authorities (Article 7); the right to free movement (Article 12.1); asylum (Article. 13), the principle of due process in deportation proceedings (Article 12.4); the prohibition of collective expulsion of aliens (Article 12.5);

And finally we reiterate our request to see the resolution on the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and displaced persons of above 21 October 2001adopted by the African Commission on Human Rights and Peoples.

Done in Banjul on April 16, 2012, at the Africa NGOs Forum. 

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