Press Review 15 July 2018

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Tags: asylum seekers Europe immigration policy refugees South Africa

Image credit: Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa


Thousands of refugees without documents as Home Affairs accused of corruption 4 July 2018

A week after celebrating National Refugee Day, shadow MEC of Home Affairs Haniff Hoosen conducted an oversight visit to the Orlando West Home Affairs offices. This oversight visit was fuelled by the ongoing allegations of corruption, especially in the newly launched refugee offices, reports Soweto Urban.

The faces behind SA’s citizenship nightmare 5 July 2018

Florette and Nsongoni Mulowayi arrived in South Africa from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as refugees in the early 2000s and subsequently became permanent residents. Despite holding a South African identity document and a BSc degree from the University of Johannesburg, Florette was frequently discriminated against by the private sector when seeking work. In one case, she made it through all the interview stages for a job in a laboratory at a large pharmaceutical company but the offer was rescinded at the last minute because, the human resources department told her, the position was open to South African citizens only.

South African Asylum Processes Undergoing Review 11 July 2018

For Azama Damas, a matric drop-out, the march to Parliament on 10 July 2018 was about highlighting the plight faced by fellow matric pupils who were refugees in South Africa. The march coincided with World Refugee Day which is observed on June 20 each year to honour the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide who have had to flee their homes and countries due to violence, war and other conflicts. The 19-year-old Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) national was supposed to be doing her matric at Focus College in Wynberg. She had hoped to be admitted to Stellenbosch University next year. Instead she is heartbroken at home as she doesn’t have documents.

Lekota calls on government to introduce refugee camps 11 July 2018

Cope president Mosiuoa Lekota has called on the South African government to introduce refugee camps for foreigners. Addressing a press conference of the coalition governments that took over cities like Tshwane‚ Nelson Mandela Bay and Johannesburg‚ Lekota took aim at foreigners. He criticised the government’s handling of immigrants‚ saying that during the struggle against apartheid‚ ANC exiles were confined to refugee camps and not allowed to “push out” residents.

SA Immigration Changes Gradually Progressing in DHA 10 July 2018

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has bemoaned red tape and a ministerial revolving door that make it difficult to push through policy changes. Gigaba, who himself has been public enterprises minister, home affairs minister and finance minister, before moving back to the home affairs portfolio, told a Black Business Council (BBC) roundtable in Sandton on Friday: “The biggest problem the ANC needs to address is that a vision can’t be carried by an individual but needs to be carried by an institution. The vision must be sustainable even if the individuals aren’t sustainable.” While the Department of Home Affairs had ambitious plans to make the department completely paperless, to review critical skills work permits and to manage SA’s borders, it was difficult to make changes, he said.


Botswana ‘must not force Namibian refugees to back home’ 12 July 2018

Rights group Amnesty International has urged the government of Botswana not to force any of the Caprivi refugees to return to their home country Namibia if there is “a risk of persecution”. According to BBC, authorities in Botswana have said that they intend to go ahead with “repatriating displaced Namibian people, who originate from the Caprivi Strip”. There had been a long standing agreement – facilitated by the United Nations refugee agency – for more than 3 000 Namibians, who fled the Caprivi Strip in the 1990s during a secessionist uprising, to stay as refugees in Botswana.

Why Algeria Is Emptying Itself of African Migrant Workers 10 July 2018

The port city of Oran in the northwest of Algeria is a historically cosmopolitan city that has been both a workplace and way station for generations of migrants. But over the last year it has emptied of African migrant workers, as a campaign featuring mass arrests and even house-to-house searches has seen hundreds deported and many more volunteer to leave.

On June 24, local activists sounded the alarm again as 200 foreign nationals were detained in a single roundup. On this occasion they were released several hours later, but the harassment and arrests have created a hostile environment that has seen many sub-Saharan Africans turn to the U.N. Migration Agency (IOM) to voluntarily return home.

Rwandan genocide survivor helping refugees heal: “We can grow from trauma” 28 June 2018

Esther Mujawayo-Keiner knows what trauma feels like. She lost most of her family in the 1994 genocide. Now she works in Germany as a trauma therapist for African refugees. Marie Sina met her in the city of Düsseldorf.

Land of Opportunities: refugees in Kenya fashion their entrepreneurial skills 14 July 2018

Refugees living in one of the world’s largest refugee camps in Kenya are increasingly opening small businesses in order to survive. With around 185,000 residents, Kakuma, in north-western Kenya, is one of the world’s largest refugee camps; it’s thought some 21,000 refugees are engaged in some type of entrepreneurial work. Many run small shops. A recent study by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) found that the economy in the area is worth 6 billion shillings (US$56 million). With more than 2000 business in the Kakuma camp, refugees play a pivotal role in growing the economy and building bridges with the host community.


New Kids’ Books Put A Human Face On The Refugee Crisis 10 July 2018

In the world of adults, the Supreme Court has upheld a ravel ban from some mostly Muslim nations, and refugee arrivals from Syria as well as other Middle East hot spots have slowed to a trickle. Political leaders claim refugees are a threat. But in the world of children’s literature, there’s a new trend towards putting stories about resilient young Muslim refugees front and center. More than a dozen books are due out this fall, from picture books for toddlers to complex novels for the teen audience. The new crop adds to a growing list of titles that present a positive image of refugees, humanizing and personalizing the ongoing conflicts, says Vicky Smith, children’s editor at Kirkus Reviews. “It is a real desire on the part of authors, illustrators and publishers to respond to the crisis in a way that is proactive and helpful,” she says.

Hosting A Refugee Helped Me Find My Own Place In The World 7 July 2018

I was idly flicking through Facebook and saw a plea from Refugees at Home looking for a room in Birmingham for a young woman and her baby. Like many significant decisions, the impulse to welcome a stranger into my home crystallised in one moment, but as soon as it did I became aware it had been brewing for a while. Recently returned from an emotionally excoriating trip volunteering in a freezing slum of a refugee encampment in Belgrade, I was wondering what to do with the hollow vertigo in my stomach as I cooked dinner, standing in my own kitchen with the central heating on. A steady drip of news stories had left me nursing a sense of rising anger at the hostility of the system that greets people on arrival in the UK. To deal with the unease, I was looking for a way to bring home to Birmingham some of the sense of community solidarity I had experienced working in the squats and grassroots organisations of Athens as they struggled to deal with waves of new arrivals. I should perhaps not have been surprised that my tentative steps toward getting involved locally had delivered the shock that there was huge need in my own home town.






Tags: asylum seekers    Europe    immigration policy    refugees    South Africa   

Categorised in: Press Review