The Kingdom of Swaziland as a state party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, hosts about 728 refugees and 385 asylum seekers. Some of the refugees have been in the country for more than a decade. Some have successfully integrated into local society yet some have difficulty in doing likewise.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to provide international protection to refugees, which includes seeking to find permanent or durable solutions to refugee problems. The UNHCR partners with the Swaziland Government and Caritas Swaziland to carry out this mandate to refugees in the country. One of the durable solutions is resettlement. Read more
Caritas Swaziland open the Refugee Section in 1989.
In close collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs (Refugee Department) and UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee) provide to deliver day to day humanitarian assistance in the areas of State protection, legal documentation, income-generation, domestic support, health and education.
The Kingdom of Swaziland ratified the OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspect of Refugee Problems in Africa in 1989 and the 1959 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol in 1995. Further, Swaziland ratified the Kampala Convention, in 2012.
Caritas Swaziland assists refugees and asylum seekers, who reside in the Malindza Refugee Reception Centre (Lubombo Region), and the major sites like Mbabane, Manzini and other towns all over the Country.
Generally they escape from their Country of origin because of wars, persecutions, hunger, violation of human rights and a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion or nationality, looking for freedom, safety and protection. They come predominantly from the Great Lakes Region, like Burundi, Somalia, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Report on Malindza fire incidents and demonstrations by Somali Asylum-seekers
The Caritas Swaziland Refugee Programme, being the sole implementing partner to the UNHCR in Swaziland provides services that promote the local integration of refugees and asylum seekers. Our Primary responsibility remains the provision of an integrated assistance package comprising education, psychosocial counseling, legal assistance, medical care and until recently business management training. The drive towards the attainment of durable solutions for the refugee population is a central feature of the refugee program, particularly given the incumbent local integration theme- a direct consequence of diminished resources.
Over the past two month period, the hitherto peaceful refugee protection leadership has been altered by somewhat by unfortunate events never before recorded in recent history. This report serves to reveal in detail, circumstances surrounding the events under discussion. Read more
World Refugee Day is celebrated on June 20 every year. The Malindza Camp does it on the nearest Saturday. This year was no exception and with the present of national (the minister of Home Affairs, Her Royal Highness Princess Tsandzile), members of Parliament, local authorities (Chief Ndlondlo) and representatives of UNICEF and UNHCR we all gathered at midday at Malindza.
The program lasted a couple of hours and the refugees gave us a taste not only of their music and dances but also of their local food (at the end).