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 !


In order to realize its objectives of lobbying and advocating for forced Migrants rights has entered a number of partnerships:


More than 5years ago, refugee and asylum seekers children were denied access to public primary and secondary school. It was then high time for CBRC as an organisation whose primary objectives is to lobby and advocate for refugees and asylum seekers rights to stand up and take some action. CBRC approached South African Human Rights Commission to help to persuade the Department of Education to accept school children with refugee documents in public schools. The partnership was successful since, from then, many refugee and asylum seeker children who were previously denied the access to public schools were accepted, and some of them got even the school fees exemption. The partnership still continues.


The partnership with Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa is especially important for CBRC as an organization and as a community of refugees and asylum seekers. The aim of the Partnership between CBRC and the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa is to specifically build skills in community mobilization and training called “Training of Trainers – TOT. CBRC and its constituencies (Refugee Communities) have invaluably benefited from this joint effort both in terms of mobilization technique and in training skills that are particularly useful at the grassroots level. This partnership has, for instance, resulted in the development of the volunteer policy which is a fundamental tool for two reasons:

First, CBRC is an organisation that is 100% volunteer-based.

Secondary, the volunteer policy has and will continue to build the spirit of altruism in its member organizations that are refugee communities who have no financial capacity to help one another.

It is important to mention that the partnership with NiZA has span CBRC activities beyond South African borders. Through that partnership CBRC is now an active member of CIVCOM – a cluster of organisations that pro-active within the SADC region: Malawi , Mozambique and Zimbabwe whose common objective is Civic Education. The vision of this cluster is to contribute to the building of a Southern African civil society that is informed both in terms of rights and obligations.


In the beginning, the asylum seeker permit [section 41] that the Department of Home Affairs offered to asylum seekers did entitle them to almost nothing. It did not allow them to take neither the employment nor study in the Republic of South Africa , nor did it allow them to have a bank account. Because refugees and asylum seekers were known to carry their money around, they were the most targeted by the robbery. After realizing the situation was getting out of hand, CBRC decided to appeal to various banks in Johannesburg to allow refugees and asylum seekers to open, at least, savings account so that they may not continue to be targeted by crime. Most of the banks approached refused except one branch of First National Bank in 2002 – Carlton centre. This branch did not necessarily automatically allow all refugees and asylum seekers to have their banks account opened. They accept to enter into negotiation with CBRC on the feasibility of this “favour”. A long session negotiation ended up in accepting the refugees and asylum seeker to have their bank account with FNB but, a thorough scrutiny was necessary – verification of the documents. Besides, each individual applicant was requested to present his/her referral letter from CBRC as one of the irrevocable requirements among other things. The partnership with FNB Carlton Centre Branch was so successful that FNB decided to expand the possibility of opening bank accounts for refugees and asylum seekers nationwide in 2005.


In their duty to prevent and combat crime and to preserve security and safety in the city of Johannesburg , the SAPS often have to ensure that every resident – permanent or temporary is there legally. While doing that it happens that they encounter complicated cases of migrants who are not documented or whose documents are suspicious. Any person falling under such category is referred or transferred to Lindela repatriation centre. Hence, on several occasions migrants including refugees and asylum seekers are victims of police violence, unlawful repatriation or illegitimate detention. In order to defend and prevent or fight such actions, CBRC in Partnership with Refugee Ministries have committed joint effort to ensure that any such ill treatments against migrants especially refugees and asylum seekers are dealt with accordingly and without delay. This partnership has proven to be effective.

CBRC / Roll Back Xenophobia

CBRC in partnership with “Roll back Xenophobia”, Soul Buddyz of Soul City, the Johannesburg Inner City council, the South African NGO Coalition [SANGOCO] and other sister organizations has organized and is still very proactive in campaigning against Xenophobia and other related intolerances. CBRC participated to the National Conference against Racism & Xenophobia in 2000 at Johannesburg, to the World Conference Against Racism and Xenophobia in 2001 in Durban-SA, to the World Summit for sustainable development in 2002 in Johannesburg. CBRC also engages discussion with decision makers on refugee related issues regularly.


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