Press Review 19 September

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Tags: Department of Home Affairs immigration policy Mobility in Africa South Africa southern Africa

Image credit: Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa

National

The Case for Migrants in South Africa

News Deeply, 8 September 2016

Amid a spate of xenophobic attacks against migrants in South Africa, anthropologist Zaheera Jinnah defends their presence, arguing that they contribute to the labor market with their mixed skills and informal employment.

Gigaba launches paperless system at Marabastad refugee centre

Eyewitness news, 11 September 2016

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says the introduction of a paperless system at the Marabastad refugee reception office will contribute towards eradicating corruption. Gigaba conducted a tour of the office in Pretoria today where interventions are underway to improve the services provided to asylum seekers. The office has been a cause of concern for years due to continued allegations of fraud and corruption, as well as human rights violations. The Department of Home Affairs believes the introduction of automated systems at the Marabastad centre will eradicate long queues and other challenges they present. Minister Gigaba says ridding the application process of queues decreases the chances of collusion and corruption.

How South Africa is becoming a closed society

Rand Daily Mail, 15 September 2016

‘We have regressed from having a global foreign policy, to an African foreign policy, to a local, inward-looking foreign policy’ A briefing in The Economist entitled ‘Drawbridges up’ was one of two pieces in an early August edition of the magazine on geopolitical “openness”. It’s a subject that has penetrated global consciousness in a post-Brexit world that also faces a refugee crisis, along with the very real possibility of Donald Trump’s presidency. The new divide in rich countries, the article says, is not between the political left and right, but “open” versus “closed”.

No IDs mean foreign children can’t attend school

IOL, 16 September 2016

Foreign national children housed at a care centre in Ga-Rankuwa are not attending school because they don’t have identity documents. This came to light on Thursday during a surprise visit by members of the social development oversight portfolio committee from the Gauteng legislature to Rearabile care centre. Centre manager Lucia Mokoena said the destitute children were allegedly smuggled into the country by child traffickers. Mokoena shared the children’s plight with members of the portfolio committee.

Gigaba: SA can benefit by welcoming migrants

IOL, 19 September 2016

South Africa should embrace international migration for development of the country, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has said. He reiterated that South Africa was committed to offering sanctuary to refugees. “This is a matter which for us is not merely an international obligation, but a moral imperative. It is an expression of our foreign policy, which seeks to build a better Africa and a better world,” he said. “Therefore our commitment to refugees is unwavering, and the challenge before us is to figure out what is the best way to discharge our mandate.” Gigaba was speaking at a policy dialogue with civil society on the green paper on International Migration in Doornfontein on Friday. The green paper contends that it is neither desirable nor possible to stop international migration.

REGIONAL

Sudan: South Sudanese Refugees Relocated in East Darfur

allAfrica, 9 September 2016

About 1,500 South Sudanese refugees have been relocated from Khor Omer to Kario camp in East Darfur. New displaced people from Jebel Marra arrive in Hassahissa camp in Central Darfur. Education is amongst the least funded sectors in humanitarian appeals while about 45 per cent of children in Sudan are out of school. And above-average rainfall is favourable for harvests in October, in this week’s humanitarian bulletin by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The relocation of South Sudanese refugees from Khor Omer camp in Ed Daein, capital of East Darfur State, to the new Kario site started on 20 August and as of 4 September, 1,554 refugees had moved to the new camp. On average, 114 refugees voluntarily relocated per day. The new camp was selected by the government as the new site for hosting refugees coming from the Northern Bahrel Ghazal area of South Sudan (mainly Dinka).

Botswana set to end protection for Namibian refugees

The Southern Times, 12 September 2016

Namibia’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration said that Namibian refugees refusing to come home from Botswana will have no choice but to return after Botswana decided to end their refugee status. Many of the refugees form part of a group that fled the country in 1998 for fear of being pursued by government for their suspected involvement in a move to secede the Caprivi Strip, now Zambezi Region, from Namibia.  About 3,000 Namibians reportedly fled the country, at the time, and the majority sought refuge in Botswana. There are about 941 Namibian refugees in Botswana waiting to be repatriated.

South Sudan fighting sends refugee numbers soaring past one million mark: UN

TimesLive, 16 September 2016

Renewed fierce fighting has pushed nearly 200,000 people to flee South Sudan since July, sending the number of refugees from the war-scarred nation past one million, the UN said. “The number of South Sudanese refugees sheltering in neighbouring countries has this week passed the one million mark,” the United Nations refugee agency said in a statement. Another 1.61 million people are displaced inside the country, it said. South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has thus joined Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as countries that have produced more than one million refugees, UNHCR said.

INTERNATIONAL

Nearly half of all refugees are children, says Unicef

theguardian, 7 September 2016

Report shows child refugee figures have jumped by 75% in five years to 8 million, and calls for urgent action to protect the 50 million child migrants worldwide. Children now make up more than half of the world’s refugees, according to a Unicef report, despite the fact they account for less than a third of the global population.

Why won’t the world tackle the refugee crisis?

theguardian, 17 September 2016

It is now the greatest movement of the uprooted that the world has ever known. Some 65 million people have been displaced from their homes, 21.3 million of them refugees for whom flight is virtually compulsory – involuntary victims of politics, war or natural catastrophe. With just less than 1% of the world’s population homeless and seeking a better, safer life, a global crisis is under way, exacerbated by a lack of political cooperation – and several states, including the United Kingdom, are flouting international agreements designed to deal with the crisis. This week’s two major summits in New York, called by the United Nations general assembly and by President Barack Obama, are coming under intense criticism before the first world leaders have even taken their seats. Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and refugee charities are among those accusing both summits of being “toothless” and saying that the declaration expected to be ratified by the UN on Monday imposes no obligations on the 193 general assembly nations to resettle refugees.

U.N. refugee, migrant summit needs to focus on Africa’s host countries

Africa Times, 18 September 2016

The spirit of Bratislava is the spirit of cooperation,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, describing Friday’s meeting of 27 European Union member states in Slovakia in lofty terms even as she warned of the critical juncture at which Europe finds itself. On the unresolved issue of migrants, some EU leaders were far more critical than cooperative but agreed that a common European border defense, and agreements with African countries proposed last June, are necessary to stem the unprecedented flow of migrants. Those migrant compacts target 16 countries, 13 of them in Africa, for strings-attached funding tied to EU expectations that they’ll do more to prevent people from coming to Europe. They include Horn of Africa nations like Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan, as well as MENA states including Algeria and Tunisia. Nigeria, Ethiopia and Senegal also are high EU priorities for funding of a plan that Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini described as “an outsourcing of the EU’s responsibilities” to countries that fail to guarantee basic human rights.

 

 

 

Tags: Department of Home Affairs    immigration policy    Mobility in Africa    South Africa    southern Africa   

Categorised in: Press Review