Press Review 15 November 2017

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Tags: forced migration refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees South Africa

Image credit: Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa

NATIONAL

Home Affairs monitoring borders in wake of Zim political tension 

ewn.co.za 15 November 2017

The Home Affairs Department says it’s on high alert on the country’s northern borders in the wake of political instability in Zimbabwe. Speaking at Parliament on Wednesday, Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan says the government is not anticipating a huge amount of movement of people at this time. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Southern Africa says it’s in constant contact with counterparts in Zimbabwe, who report that the situation is calm.

EFF: South Africa must offer Mugabe political asylum

news24.com 15 November 2017

The EFF has thrown its weight behind the military in troubled Zimbabwe by calling for a peaceful transition of power and for South Africa to offer President Robert Mugabe political asylum.

Home Affairs introduces new machine-readable travel documents for refugees 

ewn.co.za 16 November 2017

The Home Affairs Department has introduced a new machine-readable travel document for refugees. Just over 35,000 people sought asylum in South Africa last year. Home Affairs and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees says that they’re on high alert in the event of an influx of people seeking refuge in the country, in the wake of political instability in Zimbabwe. The earlier version of the refugee travel document was introduced in 2009, when the number of refugees and asylum seekers peaked at over 200,000. But international guidelines have prompted an update.

Mother detained with baby for 72 hours awarded R180 000 in damages by court

lhr.org.za 1 November 2017

On the 7th of July 2015 Selina Moyo was walking on Stasie Street heading towards Birchleigh train station, in Kempton Park. She was coming from her place of employment where she worked as a domestic worker. Upon her arrival at Birchleigh station she was stopped by two South African Police Services (SAPS) officials, little did she know that her refusal to pay a bribe will result in her spending 72 hours behind jail with her 8 month old baby.

Selina fled her country of origin due to political persecution in 2010 and duly applied for asylum at the Marabastad Refugee Reception Office. She was subsequently issued with a temporary asylum seeker permit in accordance with the Refugees Act 130 of 1998 (Refugees Act). She has renewed her asylum seeker permit periodically as required by the conditions of her permit.

Activist Sophie Kanza wants to tackle xenophobia amongst Africans

kionjo.com 13 November 2017

As some African countries embrace the idea of open borders with visa-free travel on the continent, mental borders remain in the minds of some Africans. The activist Sophie Kanza created a short film about a subject we rarely talk about: xenophobia that sometimes exists between Africans.

REGIONAL

The abuse of migrants in Libya is a blot on the world’s conscience

stltoday.com 14 November 2017

Libya is awash with tears for the tens of thousands of migrants from across Africa and beyond who have traveled there in search of a better life. This time-honored practice began last century, when workers from the Middle East and Africa flocked to Libya for jobs in its booming petro-economy — a pattern that continues even now, despite Libya’s dismal security climate. The U.N refugee agency says a potential crisis may be developing as hundreds of Togolese refugees flee political instability and escalating violence. More than 500 Togolese have recently arrived in Ghana seeking asylum, according to the UNHCR.

How a Zimbabwe asylum seeker found a new life on stage in Yorkshire

thezimbabwean.co 07 November 2017

Just one detail of Emily Ntshangase-Wood’s life is heartbreaking. Together it’s a wonder that she has survived at all. An asylum seeker from Zimbabwe she was raped as a teenager and gave birth to a son. When her father disappeared under Robert Mugabe’s brutal regime her family arranged for her to be smuggled over the border with the hope she could begin a new life with an uncle in South Africa. It wasn’t to be. While she managed to finish her schooling and university education in Bulawayo, becoming an English teacher, when her uncle was murdered she was forced to pack her bags again and headed for England.

The slam poet who is giving refugee numbers a human face

iol.co.za 15 November 2017

Standing on stage, Emtithal “Emi” Mahmoud pours out brutal tales of death, war and family trauma that might not be expected from a glance at the cheerful 24-year-old US-college graduate. But Mahmoud, who fled war in Sudan’s Darfur region as a child, said she uses her poetry to stir people and put a human face on crises that many feel is too remote to relate to. “What I try to do, by sharing what I’ve seen and what my family’s been through, is to make people more sensitised to the humanity behind it,” Mahmoud said in an interview at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual two-day Trust Conference.

INTERNATIONAL

Israel’s invisible refugee community

972mag.com 2 November 2017

Estimates show that hundreds of refugees from the Nuba Mountains, who fled the fighting in Sudan, currently live in Israel. Despite the danger they face in their home country, both Israel and the international community ignore their plight.

“Human Flow” looks straight at the global refugee crisis and doesn’t blink

denverpost.com 15 November 2017

The Chinese contemporary visual artist Ai Weiwei — whose portraits of political dissidents, formed from Lego blocks, are currently on view at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. — has never limited himself to a single medium. Over his career, the 60-year-old has produced powerful sculptures, installations, photographs, videos, even a stream of social-media postings that can be read as both a form of performance art and as political statement. Ai’s heartbreaking new documentary “Human Flow,” on the subject of the global refugee crisis, continues a tradition of making work that is pungent conceptually and aesthetically. (The movie is distributed by Amazon Studios. Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Climate migration will only be a crisis if we make it into one

opendemocracy.net 16 November 2017

Migration caused by climate change doesn’t have to be a crisis. In fact, with the right planning, migration can become a powerful form of climate adaptation. Last year 23 million people were displaced by extreme weather. As climate change alters the atmosphere, we can expect this kind of human displacement to increase. The displacement of people is now fundamentally linked to climate change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: forced migration    refoulement; asylum; Africa; refugees    South Africa   

Categorised in: Press Review