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[SUBMISSION] SERI makes a submission to Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on addressing xenophobia (29 March 2024).

CERD Submission cover 28March2024On 28 March 2024, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) made a submission to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on the first draft of the Joint General Comment/Recommendation on "State Parties Obligations on Public Policies for Addressing and Eradicating Xenophobia and its impact on the rights of migrants, their families, and other non-citizens affected by racial discrimination". 

The submission shares comments and recommendations on four main areas, namely:

  • South Africa's definition of xenophobia in the National Plan Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (National Plan): SERI recommends that the definition be expanded to include the concept of "institutional or structural xenophobia" and practices by law enforcement officials which constitute “profiling” of people who “look” or “sound” “foreign;
  • Elements of a comprehensive and holistic public policy aimed at preventing and eradicating xenophobia in migrant-receiving societies: SERI recommends that such a policy must include an early warning and rapid response mechanism, a mechanism for collating and publishing disaggregated data for tracking levels of violence and hate crimes, social mobilisation campaigns, and allow for public participation;
  • The need for an intersectional lens when addressing xenophobia: SERI recommends that the South African government be required to pay attention to the intersection of xenophobia with gender and socio-economic status to adhere to the international human rights standards affecting migrant women; and 
  • Accountability and the role of the criminal justice system in addressing xenophobia: SERI recommends that law enforcement agencies to investigate xenophobic crimes and convict guilty persons; act swiftly in response to an early warning and response mechanism and discipline, prosecute and convict law enforcement officials who partake in xenophobic practices.


  • Download the submission here.