Press Review 15 June 2018

Date Published:
Published by:
Tags: Europe refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees refugee crisis refugees

Image credit: Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa


Former Angolan refugees face uncertain future 5 June 2018

The Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town (SCCT) is concerned about a Home Affairs decision to issue a non-renewable Angolan Special Permit (ASP) that expires in 2021. While welcoming the permit because it allows former Angolan refugees to work and study in South Africa, the Scalabrini Centre – which advocates for immigrants’ rights — has been negotiating permanent residency for the former refugees. The organisation is now worried that the non-renewable aspect of the permit will mean that the path to permanent residency has been blocked.

‘This is a national embarrassment’: Cape Town refugee office under fire again 5 June 2018

As he waited outside the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office on Tuesday‚ a man seeking to renew his permit said conditions at the office had deteriorated over the 14 years he had been in South Africa. “It’s pathetic‚” said the man‚ who declined to give his name. He was one of dozens of people queuing at Customs House on the Foreshore‚ which has been at the centre of a legal battle over the Department of Home Affairs’ decision to close the office to new applicants in 2012.

Gigaba must explain why refugee centres have not been opened:DA 6 June 2018

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will request that Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba be summoned to Parliament to explain why the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth refugee reception offices have not been reopened. It said refugees did not use Port Elizabeth or Cape Town as their ports of entry. The DA said it would write to the chairperson of the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee‚ Lemias Mashile‚ to request that Gigaba be summoned to account for why these reception centres had not been reopened.

Is this the heartless, hard-hearted way SA treats refugees? 11 June 2018

On Tuesday morning, a young Zimbabwean woman whom we have known for about 10 years went to the Marabastad Refugee Office in Pretoria to renew her temporary refugee visa. She has done this conscientiously and responsibly every three months for the past 10 years. During this period she has been with the same employer. She came to this country as a 17-year-old on her own to seek work. Her parents in Zimbabwe died and she could not find work in Bulawayo, her hometown. Not knowing how to support herself, she came to South Africa. She was granted asylum in 2008 and given a document to this effect. On Tuesday morning she was rounded up with a group of many others and relieved of her original asylum papers. She was taken to a room with the others, told to wait to be deported there and then to Lindela (the refugee deportation centre) and locked in.

Refugee kids miss exams as Home Affairs sends family from city to city 11 June 2018

Three Zimbabwean refugee children aged 7, 12 and 14, were forced to stay out of school for two weeks and missed examinations because they had to travel from Johannesburg to Cape Town to renew their refugee status. The Pretoria Home Affairs office refused to serve them because they originally applied for asylum in Cape Town. And their overnight trip to Cape Town became ten days, as they tried to navigate the Home Affairs bureaucracy.

Before the family left for Cape Town on 22 May, their school threatened to deregister the children because they had been absent for two days trying to get their documents renewed at Pretoria Home Affairs. “If they are not back to school within ten days, we will deregister them,” the mother was told.


 TEDx comes to the refugee camp 12 June 2018

On 9 June, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) co-hosted TEDxKakumaCamp, the first ever TEDx event held in a refugee camp. The talks were organised under the euphoric theme “Thrive” and promised to tell “stories that uplift and inspire not just the communities that host them but the entire world”. This theme was in keeping with the TED brand, which typically consists of speakers narrating their personal journeys of discovery to inspire audiences into their own attitudinal change. Rather than being held in the conference centre of a major world city, however, this event took place in one of Africa’s oldest and largest refugee camps which houses nearly 150,000 people in north-western Kenya.

Dadaab Refugee Camp Residents Recycle, Earn 14 June 2018

Plastic recycling has huge potential as a sustainable business for refugees and could be a model for other large camps. As the world marked World Environment Day on June 5, Somali refugees at Dadaab refugee camp, in Kenya show what it means to make a contribution to the environment and earn an income from plastic water bottles, broken buckets and old jerry cans strewn across their area.

Niger Sudan’s White Nile to transfer South Sudanese refugees from overcrowded camp 13 June 2018

The government of the White Nile State said it would transfer 25,000 South Sudanese refugees from an overcrowded camp to a newly erected camp in July. More than 25,000 South Sudanese refugees would be transferred from the overcrowded Khor Al-Waral camp to Al-Jami’ia camp in Al-Salam locality. The director of the department of organizations and refugee affairs at the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) in White Nile Mustafa al-Fadil said the transfer of refugees aims to reduce overcrowding and prevent the spread of epidemics.

Meet the people behind the first Pride at a refugee camp in Kenya 13 June 2018

A colorful Pride festival is set to take place for the first time in one of the world’s most infamous and homophobic refugee camps. The Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya is the third largest in the world. It became famous for hosting the ‘Lost Boys of Sudan’. Last week, it also became the first refugee camp in the world to host a TEDx event. It’s also home to about 200 refugees who identify as LGBTIQ, many of them from neighboring Uganda. The Ugandan refugees fled from their country after the government tried to introduce a ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill. LGBTIQ have faced violence and death threats for years at Kakuma, but they hope this week’s Pride event will help raise awareness about the community.


eBay, Public Art Fund and Ai Weiwei Partner for World Refugee Day with an Exclusive Sale of Artworks 5 June 2018

Artist and activist Ai Weiwei and leading arts non-profit Public Art Fund are partnering for a second time with eBay to exclusively release a series of six powerful new works of art for charity on June 20, World Refugee Day. The six works are compelling portraits of refugees: a remarkable and timely expression of the artist’s work surrounding this global humanitarian crisis. There are 500 editions of each of the six banners, available for $750 each.

Refugee chefs take over Irish restaurant 12 June 2018

Chefs Vuyisile Mbangiwa and Sinqobizitha Mguni, both from Zimbabwe, now living in Birchwood House for Asylum Seekers in Waterford, will cook at an Irish welcome dinner for 270 refugees at St Patrick’s Cathedral, in Dublin,Ireland on Wednesday June 20th, World Refugee Day. This year, Ireland has joined the party, with 17 restaurants and food businesses backing the initiative. A series of events and collaborations are planned that will culminate in a welcome dinner for 270 refugees and asylum-seekers on World Refugee Day, at St Patrick’s Cathedral.





Tags: Europe    refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees    refugee crisis    refugees   

Categorised in: News