Abuja – Mrs Hadiza Sani-Kangiwa, a Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) on Thursday described Xenophobia as an act of racism and man’s inhumanity to man.
Sani-Kangiwa stated this in a statement signed by Mr Ahmed Danbazau, the Head, Press and Public Relations Unit of the commission in Abuja.
The commission, in the statement, also expressed deepest concern over the killings, wide spread looting, destruction of property and targeted attacks on migrants, especially Nigerians.
“Although migration might be perceived as a threat in a country with high unemployment rate, it is however, important to stress that migrants have inalienable fundamental rights,’’ Sani-Kangiwa said in the statement.
These fundamental human rights, she added, could be negotiated as the international human rights framework relating to the protection and promotion of the rights of migrants guaranteed these fundamental rights.
She emphasised that all state parties were obliged to ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of migrants as it affects their life, dignity, property, and social well-being.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
It stated that this was not the first time Nigeria was witnessing this inhuman treatment on its citizens in South Africa, recalling that in 2008, a similar xenophobic attack left over 60 persons dead.
“These attacks are not only politically and economically wrong but also morally wrong and unjustifiable, especially given the unique historic experience of apartheid in South Africa.
“Xenophobia is racism and racism is against humanity.
“We, therefore, call on the government and people of South Africa to uphold the international human rights framework, particularly the Convention Against Racism.’’
The statement cited Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture (CAT), Article 22 of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and their Family Members.
It also mentioned the African Union’s 9th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council in June, 2006, on Migration Policy Framework for Africa.
The statement urged the government and people of South Africa adhere to the provisions of these conventions and put a permanent stop to this inhuman act.
It urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that the protection of Nigerians everywhere, irrespective of their migratory status becomes a priority in foreign policy engagements.
It commended the UN High Commission for Refugee for providing temporary shelter and camps for those displaced as a result of the xenophobic attack, reiterating Nigeria’s commitment to protecting the rights of migrants.
It stresses the need for the speedy adoption of reviewed National Migration Policy so that migration guidelines could be properly mainstreamed into the national development process, specifically the post 2015 MDGs goals. (NAN)