Press Review 31 October 2017

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Tags: Africa refugee amendment bill; migration policy; southern Africa; migrants

Image credit: Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa


The South African Human Rights Commission tackles thorny issue of foreigners’ access to housing 25 October 2017

The South Human Rights Commission’s held a provincial indaba on access to housing to migrants in Gauteng. The indaba coincided with Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba’s continued call to deport undocumented foreign nationals in his city clean-up campaign. Since Mashaba took over as mayor he has not been shy to declare his stance on undocumented foreign migrants, and his outbursts have often annoyed some.

Child refugees: SA’s invisible children 23 October 2017

She was just 13 years old when she crossed the border into South Africa with three siblings. Today Bahati* is in Grade 11, is the mother of a six-month-old baby and works as a cleaner by night. Yet she does not exist – there is no formal record kept of undocumented and unaccompanied migrant children living in South Africa, or of those who enter the country almost daily. The lack of data on these children places them in danger as they go undetected by South African child protection agencies. Their plight was highlighted at a colloquium in Johannesburg last week.

Permits still a major challenge for refugees 14 October 2017

Despite South Africa being very welcoming to refugees, documentation of refugees still remains the biggest challenge. So says Makusha Hupenyu, co-ordinator at the Durban Refugee Pastoral Care. Refugees are required to have a special permit, which allows them move around the country, get employment, access education and documents all their details. Permits must be renewed every six months.

Evicting and deporting foreign nationals is not fixing Joburg’s inner-city housing crisis, Seri says 24 October 2017

The plan adopted by the City of Johannesburg to evict people from hijacked buildings in order to turn these assets into low-cost housing, is a futile exercise. Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri) director of research and advocacy Alana Potter was speaking at the South African Human Rights Commission indaba, on access to housing for migrants living in Gauteng.

Refugee rulings undermine policy  16 October 2017

South Africa’s obligations include the duty to share the responsibility of hosting refugees fleeing persecution and insecurity. From 2006 to 2015, it received about 1.08 million asylum seekers, compared with 3.7 million for the 28-member EU, an average of 132 000 persons for each European country for that period. Without doubt, South Africa carries a fair share of the burden of displaced persons. Since 2010, we have afforded work and study permits through sequential special permit regimes to 280 000 Zimbabweans seeking jobs here. International law does not require refugees to seek asylum in any particular country. There is, however, the principle of “first country of asylum”, which directs countries to welcome refugees fleeing from persecution in a neighbouring state. This principle has developed so that, in practice, an asylum seeker who had the opportunity to claim asylum in another country is liable to be returned to the neighbouring country to have his or her claim determined there.

Asylum seekers aggrieved by visa ruling 27 September 2017

Asylum seekers may no longer apply for any type of visa while they are in South Africa. They must do so before entering. So the Supreme Court of Appeal found earlier this week. The judgment comes after Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize and department director-general Mkuseli Apleni appealed a previous high court ruling 
that asylum seekers were entitled to apply for visitors and work visas while in the country.


New Refugee Crisis Brewing as Hundreds of Togolese Flee Country 27 October 2017

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.

South Sudan: Camp Residents Accuse Charity of Hiding Poor Conditions From U.S. Diplomat Haley 09 October 2017

Residents of a displaced persons camp in South Sudan say they were deeply disappointed when a visit by U.S. envoy Nikki Haley was cut short Wednesday, with several residents accusing the French charity that runs the camp of preventing Haley from seeing their wretched living conditions.

Burundian Refugees Urged to Return Home 11 October 2017

The stabilising security situation in Burundi should pave the way for the repatriation of Burundian refugees in neighbouring countries who fled the 2015 political instability that followed President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term. The 7th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, which took place two weeks ago in Brazzaville,Congo resolved that countries hosting refugees begin to facilitate their return.

Uganda charges officers over Rwandan refugee’s kidnapping 27 October 2017

Two senior Ugandan police officers were charged Friday over the mysterious kidnapping of a Rwandan refugee who had been a member of his country’s presidential guard. Joel Aguma and Nixon Karuhanga appeared before a military court-martial in the capital, Kampala. They were charged alongside five junior police officers as well as a Congolese national and a Rwandan man. Their attorney disputed the charges.


Wrong Targets: Black Xenophobia and Cornell’s BSU 20 October 2017

In response to a racially charged attack on a black Cornell student in September, Cornell’s Black Students United issued a list of demands to the university’s president. These demands aimed to establish a more inclusive and supportive campus for students of color. But while most of the group’s requests offered a just vision of a more diverse campus, Cornell’s BSU sullied their proposal with a xenophobic demand centered on the school’s international or first generation African and Caribbean students.

Enough pasta already: why asylum seekers in Italy are fed up with their food rations 29 October 2017

Elias, who arrived in Italy from West Africa after a long journey, eats pasta every day for lunch and dinner. And, he claims, for breakfast too. He’s been doing so for nine months, since he first set foot in the small town in central Italy where he now lives. His journey was similar to that undertaken by the about 1,000 officially registered asylum seekers in the Macerata province of Italy. His dinghy left Libya and was intercepted at sea by a military vessel. He was taken to Sicily, fingerprinted and after a few days taken north, on a bus, to a highway exit. There he was picked up by a member of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and taken to a hotel hosting over 100 asylum seekers who are waiting for their claim for refugee status to be assessed.












Tags: Africa    refugee amendment bill; migration policy; southern Africa; migrants   

Categorised in: News