COMMISSIONS WATCH 07-2022 - Harare Declaration on Violence against Migrants



[30th August 2022]

Harare Declaration on Violence against Migrants

On 25th and 26th August 2022 the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission [ZHRC] hosted a meeting in Harare of chairpersons of National Human Rights Institutions from the Southern African Development Community [SADC].  The ZHRC chairperson, Mr Elasto Mugwadi, is the current chairperson of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions [NANHRI]. 

The outcome of the meeting was the issue of the Harare Declaration on Violence against Migrants in the SADC region, as follows: 

National Human Rights Institutions Regional Meeting on
Violence against Migrants in SADC Region


We, the participants in the regional meeting on violence against migrants, being Chairpersons of National Human Rights Institutions from Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe:

Having met in Harare on 25 and 26 August 2022

Noting with grave concern the different forms of violence against migrants in Southern African Countries;

Reaffirming our commitment to the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human rights, the African Charter on human and Peoples’ rights and the SADC Protocol on the Facilitation of Movement of Persons.

Affirming that xenophobia, discrimination and all forms of violence against migrants constitute a negation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965); International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (1990); African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention, 1951); New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (2016); Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (2018); The Convention concerning Migration for Employment (Revised), 1949; AU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (1969); African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons (Kampala Convention, 2009); Protocol to the Treaty Establishing the African Economic Community Relating to Free Movement of Persons , Right of Residence and Right of Establishment (2018) and Migration Policy Framework for Africa (African Union, 2018);

Dedicating ourselves to combating the scourge of xenophobia and all forms of violence against migrants;

Joining in the spirit of commitment to equality, justice and dignity;

Hereby resolve to:

1. Express our collective concern about violence against migrants in Southern Africa;

2. Commit to engage our respective governments to brief them on the outcome of this meeting and provide advisory services;

3. Come up with a strategy and plan of action with themes that include: (a) Strategies that help address root causes of violence against migrants; (b)Strategies that lead to the respect, promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights; (c) Strategies related to law reform and access to justice (access to courts, legal aid, access to remedies; victim protection and assistance; punishment and rehabilitation of offenders); Research, data collection and awareness raising strategies and (e) Cooperation and partnership strategies.

4. Urge Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states to implement national, regional and international laws that protect the rights of migrants.

5. Urge SADC to consider forming a SADC Advisory Law Reform Commission to develop model laws on the rights of migrants that influence the national laws of member states.

6. Create awareness of the human rights and obligations of migrants and host communities in SADC states.

7. Encourage respective NHRIs to carry out investigations and recommend appropriate remedies for victims of violence against migrants to respective SADC member states.

8. Continuously monitor the situation of migrants in Southern Africa to detect and address any forms of violence against migrants.

9. Establish an association of National Human Rights Institutions in the SADC region to consider human rights issues peculiar to the region.

10. Draft, deliberate on and adopt a constitution of the said association within 6 months from the adoption of this Declaration setting out the governance structure and secretariat of the association.

Adopted in Harare, Zimbabwe, on 26 August 2022.

The Harare Declaration is available with this bulletin on the Veritas website.  Also available will be the text of the remarks by Mr Mugwadi at the opening of the meeting in his capacity as NANRHI chairperson.

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