Press Review 15 April 2018

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Tags: Department of Home Affairs forced migration forced migration;refugees; asylum seekers;development;xenophobia South Africa sub-saharan Africa

Image credit: Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa

National 

Home Affairs has been ignoring 2 court orders, putting asylum seekers at risk

news24.com 4 April  2018

In July 2012 the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) closed its Refugee Reception Office (RRO) in Cape Town. Despite two court orders to do so and devastating consequences for asylum seekers, it has failed to reopen the office. The most recent court order of September 2017 mandated the DHA to reopen the RRO by March 31, 2018. Despite being in contempt of court, there is no indication from the DHA that they are working urgently to do this. South Africa currently follows global best practice by allowing asylum seekers awaiting refugee status freedom of movement and the right to work. The more expensive and less humane alternative would be housing asylum seekers at camps.

#OpenTheRRO: Asylum seekers suffer as Home Affairs ignores court order

iol.co.za 11 April 2018

In July 2012, the Department of Home Affairs closed the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office (CTRRO) for new asylum applications. The closure meant the CTRRO was no longer fully-functional and would operate only for those asylum-seekers who had lodged claims prior to the closure. Asylum-seekers who arrived after the closure had to apply at the remaining RROs – Durban, Musina and Pretoria – and then return to the RRO of application for any further administration of their claims, including permit renewals. The practical reality thereof is that many have to travel very far distances (up to 2 000km) every 1-6 months to renew their permits, which is costly – both financially and emotionally –, places heavy burdens on families, and makes asylum-seekers vulnerable to abuse, sexual violence and extortion.

Home Affairs and the children who don’t exist

timeslive.co.za 7 April  2018

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is causing chaos among foreigners seeking residence and citizenship in South Africa. Despite exhaustive efforts by refugees, asylum-seekers and skilled immigrants to adhere to South African citizenship and residence law, the DHA’s inconsistent application of laws and regulations is creating a situation where foreign doctors wanting to work and live in South Africa find themselves – and their families – stateless, with little to no recourse except for lengthy and expensive litigation.

Op-Ed: Home Affairs, the Rule of Law and all that jazz

dailymaverick.co.za 4 April 2018

A line of asylum-seekers stand under the Nelson Mandela Boulevard bridge every day on the Foreshore in Cape Town – a queue, I believe, partly manufactured by the Department of Home Affairs to make South Africans believe that we are inundated by “a deluge” of cross-border migrants. We are certainly not inundated – surveys have found that only between 2.8% to 5.8% of the South African population are “foreign-born”. The people in this queue are waiting, and desperately hoping, to be allowed through the entrance and to be swallowed by dark and dank Customs House, and thus to be one step closer to having their Section 22 permits renewed. Marlise Richter reports.

For asylum seekers, the long walk to freedom is still beyond reach

news24.com 12 April 2018

After losing everything, heavily pregnant Ana*, 34, was forced to leave her home and country. With nowhere to go, she and her husband embarked on an arduous five-day bus trip from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to South Africa.The drive was an unending gamut of fear-inducing experiences, which included a four-hour long bus search by armed soldiers just before they passed the Congolese border. Ana’s sudden departure followed an incident with her husband, an artist in the DRC, who openly called the Congolese government “undemocratic” during a public performance. They were forced to flee in the middle of the night out of fear that they would be targeted.

SAJBD slams SA’s ‘despicable’ record on asylum seekers

ewn.co.za 14 April 2018

The Jewish Board of Deputies says South Africa’s treatment of African asylum seekers leaves much to be desired, however, this does not mean that Israel is exempt from doing more to address the issue of migration. South Africa’s relationship with Israel has come under the spotlight after DJ Black Coffee performed in Tel Aviv over the Easter weekend. This sparked condemnation with many highlighting the plight of migrants in Israel.

REGIONAL

Refugees expulsion deepens Burundi, Rwanda tiff

cajnewsafrica.com 14 April 2018

THE tense relations between Burundi and Rwanda have deteriorated further after Burundi accused its Central African neighbours of expelling more than 1 600 refugees Burundian refugees. Burundi alleges these have been deported since the beginning of April because they refused to be recruited to join the armed groups in order to attack their country. Among those deported to Burundi are women and children.

Uganda Ready to Accept 500 African Asylum Seekers From Israel – Minister

news24.com 30 March 2018

The Ugandan government has expressed its readiness to accept about 500 African asylum seekers residing in Israel, Ugandan Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Musa Ecweru said. The move comes just days after the cancellation of the agreement between the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and Israel, which stipulated granting temporary residence to half of the African migrants in Israel with the relocation of the rest to Western countries.

In Kenyan refugee camp, hope of new life in US fades and suicide rate rises

af.reuters.com 9 April 2018

Knives. Wire. Battery acid. Rat poison. Rope. All are items which aid workers say they have confiscated from refugees in the Kakuma camp in northern Kenya in the last few months because of fears they might use them to kill themselves. Nine refugees have committed suicide in the dusty, sprawling camp since early 2017, compared to three in 2016, Alex Kalatu, a mental health officer and psychologist for U.S. aid group International Rescue Committee (IRC), told Reuters at the camp.

Darfur Camp Closes As Chadian Refugees Return Home

allafrica.com 10 April 2018

The Mukjar refugee camp in Central Darfur is set to close as the last camp residents returned to their home country, Chad, assisted by the UN Refugee Agency. UNHCR and the Commissioner of Refugees (COR) assisted the last refugees – amounting to more than 500 Chadians – to Chad on Friday. Mukjar camp hosted Chadian refugees for more than 10 years.

INTERNATIONAL

Migrants and refugees: The unlikely key for economic development

brookings.edu 11 April 2018

Franschhoek valley, a small town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, is known today for its beautiful scenery and high-quality wineries. In fact, it is also known as the source of an important share of the wine exported by South Africa. The origin of this town goes back to the late 17th century, when French Huguenot refugees settled there after being expelled from France following King Louis XIV’s revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Coincidence? Not really. These refugees were a source of knowledge, brought from France, which eventually made Western Cape the first-class wine exporter that it is today, competing in global markets with wineries from all over the world. This is precisely what we’ve documented on a global scale: Migrants are a driver of knowledge across borders. This knowledge translates into higher productivity for industries in their country of destination, and even in their country of origin (through return migration or even diaspora networks) and destination countries.

Dreams From My Undocumented Father: Story of a Deportation

newsdeeply.com 3 April 2018

“Me van a djar detenido, mija. Sigue adelante, mija. Tu puedes.” (They are going to detain me, my child. Keep going, my child. You can do it.) The day they took him was January 23, 2018. My dad has had to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since 2011. Of course, we always knew there was a risk that he could be detained at any check-in. So you prepare yourself mentally, but you’re always hoping it’s never going to happen. Belsy Garcia Manrique, a 27-year-old medical student in Chicago, came to America from Guatemala as a child and is protected under DACA. But her 51-year-old father Felix is set for deportation after 23 years in the U.S. News Deeply reports.

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Department of Home Affairs    forced migration    forced migration;refugees; asylum seekers;development;xenophobia    South Africa    sub-saharan Africa   

Categorised in: Press Review