It has been marked on June 20 since 2001 in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 convention relating to the status of Refugees.
Asylum seeker Salima Mkeyo from the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo says she fled her country after her whole family was killed during the civil war.
“For now I feel safe. But many things happened to me in South Africa. There was xenophobia, we were attacked, my last born was attacked. Those people were going to kill us. They destroyed my salon, they destroyed my car. They took us to the camp but we’re still here.”
Mkeyo says her 16-year-old daughter is unable to go to school in South Africa because of the difficulties of getting asylum papers. She says her child is being deprived of a right to education.
“It’s very bad because like me I have 12 years in South Africa, I’m still using asylum seeker and that’s not nice because if you are many years in the country Home Affairs can do something to give you proper documents for you to feel like you’re home because if we have asylum seeker we can’t apply for work it’s not allowed.”
World Refugee Day | Jayed-Leigh Paulse speaks to an asylum seeker from the DRC: