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UNHCR Complaint

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UNHCR Spokesperson Press Briefing (14 October 2008)

This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today's Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva.  In particular, see the last question "What is UNHCR's response to the BBC report yesterday (Monday, 13 Oct.) on your work in South Africa?"


Response Letter from António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (14 October 2008)

This response formally announces the iniation of an inquiry into the South African UNHCR office and its role in the xenophobia crisis.


Western Cape Civil Society Complaint to UNHCR (13 October 2008)

This complaint reflects a belief amoungst many civil society organizations in the Western Cape that the UNHCR has neglected to adequately and appropriately manage the humanitarian crisis that resulted from the mass displacement of foreigners in South Africa; they have failed to meet their mandate as prescribed by Statute of the UNHCR of 1950; they have ignored the litany of suggestions and input given by civil society; but most importantly, they have failed to support the very people they are mandated to help.

The complaint was accompanied by nearly 300 pages of annexures that included over a hundred personal testimonies from displaced people chronicling their experiences with the UNHCR in South Africa during the xenophobia crisis.