Don’t be a Victim, Know your Rights !
Be a Responsible Citizen, Know your Obligations !
Don’t be a Victim, Know your Rights !
Be a Responsible Citizen, Know your Obligations !
Don’t be a Victim, Know your Rights !
Be a Responsible Citizen, Know your Obligations !

About Us



The Coordinating Body of Refugee Community is a non –profit organization whose founder members and beneficiaries are refugees and asylum seekers. However, the benefits of its activities are often expanded towards migrants in Johannesburg and nationwide.


Before, until at least 1998, the Gauteng Refugee Forum (GRF) represented refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa . This organisation was composed by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), non-governmental organisation (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) usually referred to as “traditional service providers for refugees and asylum seekers. The Gauteng Refugee Forum was, supposedly, the only voice of the refugees and asylum seekers and was supposed to defend them, advocate and lobby for their rights.

It did not take long for the beneficiaries of the work of GRF – the refugees and asylum seekers – to manifest their dissatisfaction of the way they were represented. To precisely put it, in all business of GRF refugees and asylum seekers were by no means seen as stakeholders; they were denied the voting rights in refugee-related policy debate and, more importantly, they had no say in refugee affairs strategic planning. By then, refugees and asylum seekers made it clear that they do no longer wish to be represented by the GRF, and that led to its (GRF) collapse.

From 1998 onwards, refugees, asylum seekers and their sympathisers embarked on series of intensive workshops whose aim was primarily to encourage and mobilize refugee communities to take their fate in their own hands. It must be noted here that, refugees coming from 12 different African countries with different socio-political, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, it was crucial that the first series of workshops focused on the commonalities of refugees in South Africa – the very plight of being a refugee – in order to help them identify and establish common ground, interest, and thus, the common working relation. It took in total 7workshops to prepare refugees to carry their fate on their own shoulders. These workshops begun by helping consolidate the existing leadership structure and to help elect leaders in refugee communities that did not have an organized structure.

In 1999 most refugee communities were already organized, thus, CBRC (the Coordinating Body of Refugee Communities) was ready to exist. On the date....CBRC was born. CBRC was conceived as a unique umbrella body of refugee and asylum seeker communities. Until now it is, at least in South Africa , a unique inclusive organization created and run by refugees whose mission and objective is to advocate and lobby for refugee rights. In other words, CBRC is for refugees and its motivation and driving force are refugees, asylum seekers and their problems. With or without sponsorship, CBRC cannot afford to close its doors as long as refugees and asylum seekers still exist in South Africa . CBRC is 100% volunteer-based, and that is substantially something to boast about.

In 1999 CBRC held its first and memorable General assembly to adopt the first constitution and to elect the executive committee. The executive committee of CBRC usually referred to as the larger executive committee is composed of 14 representatives of refugee communities from 14 African countries. Within this structure there is a team of office bearers – the Coordinator, the Deputy coordinator, the general secretary and the treasurer. Operationally, to a large extent, the team of office bearers remain independent in the pursuit of CBRC goal of addressing refugee issues.Besides those, CBRC does appoint many other volunteers to perform specific temporary tasks to ensure the proper and effective pursuit of its goal of empowering refugees to stand up and hold their own in the daily challenges they face in South Africa. CBRC' s long term ambition is to be the model for other urban refugees in other countries facing challenges similar to those faced by refugee communities in South Africa.


Refugees and migrants are adequately integrated into the mainstream South African Society.


Refugees and migrants enjoy unequivocally all entitlement to basic human rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, the refugee Act, the Migration Act, the South African Constitution and the International Conventions signed and or ratified by South Africa .

Activities Overview

• Offering paralegal consultations to refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants and refer cases to appropriate and relevant service providers.

  • • Conducting Awareness campaigns on migrants' children' rights to education which include placement into public schools as well as recommendation letters for school fees exemption for those most deserving (the neediest among the needy). Read more

Contact Us

In South Africa

Address: Office: 14 Durham Street Cnr. Albertina Sisulu Avenue, Kensington 2094
Telephone: +27 (0) 11 333 6599
Cell: +27 +27 76 916 7162/ 73 558 7606
FAX: +27 (0) 86 600 1000