Mission – People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP) is a community-based non-profit organization and grassroots movement that works to protect and promote the rights of all refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in South Africa. PASSOP believes in and advocates for equality and justice for people across all societies, irrespective of nationality, age, gender, race, creed, disability or sexual orientation. PASSOP creates and strengthens networks of communication, dialogue and interchange for the advancement of peace, understanding and justice in local communities. Our mission is to empower communities to stand up and express their beliefs, needs and fears freely and access the rights they are entitled to. PASSOP believes that this can be achieved through basic rights education, activism, integration and community participation.
About PASSOP – PASSOP was founded in 2007 by a group of Zimbabweans in response to increased tensions between Zimbabwean foreign nationals fleeing Robert Mugabe’s increasingly repressive regime and South African citizens who blamed them for crime and unemployment. PASSOP has since become a leading advocate for refugees and immigrants in their demands for human rights in South Africa. PASSOP is unique amongst other South African non-profit organisations in that it is an advocacy and activist organisation that draws the majority of its members and volunteers from the refugee community.
We are currently, some say, a ‘voice for the voiceless’, but our explicit mission is to empower communities to stand up and express their own views, beliefs and needs. PASSOP believes that this can be achieved through basic rights education, activism, integration and, most importantly, through community participation. We have a number of programmes and offer a range of services, including anti-xenophobia help desks that offer paralegal advice, integration events and workshops, monitoring of Internally Displaced Persons camps and other advocacy campaigns.
PASSOP has been very active working against all forms of xenophobia, particularly since the outbreak of xenophobic violence in May 2008. Due to our extensive community links in the Western Cape, particularly within immigrant communities, PASSOP was among the first to know and one of the first organisations on site in all the major outbreaks of xenophobic violence in the past few years, including Du Noon in 2008, Imizamo Yethu in 2008, De Doorns 2009, Masiphumelele in 2009, as well as Mbekweni in 2010.
PASSOP believes that the struggle of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers is a global one and seeks to build international solidarity around issues effecting their migration, their documentation status and their rights. PASSOP is staffed by mostly volunteers and funded primarily through donations.