Refugees are aliens, sub-human and don’t have the same rights with those they live with, in the countries they flee to for asylum.
This false perception feeds xenophobia and intolerance for those who don’t understand the reasons why people are given the legal status of being called “refugees”.
In Africa’s current climate of civil wars, persecution and discrimination there are many individuals leaving their country of origin to seek refuge in other countries.
Now imagine being in a situation of war, famine or are being discriminated against and having to flee your place of birth. You are likely to flee without essential belongings, such as identification documents, maps or money. This is the kind of desperate situation that most people leave their countries of refuge in another country.
To understand the status of refugee, we spoke to the Head of Office Patrick Kawina Male who is from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cape Town, South Africa.
As we continue to speak to Mr Male, we unpack what it means to be a refugee and how we can demystify the stereotypes attached to the term.
Male said that earlier that seeking asylum is regarded as a human right. We expanded on this idea on the rights of refugees, using South Africa as an example.
For more info and news on refugees check out: http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home