Press Review 31 October 2018

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Tags: Africa forced migration;refugees; asylum seekers;development;xenophobia

Image credit: Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa


Widespread call for IEC to deregister ‘xenophobic’ political party 23 October 2018

A group of civil society organisations has lodged a complaint with the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) against the African Basic Movement (ABM) political party for allegedly using language that provokes violence. On social media and on its website, the ABM, based in KwaZulu-Natal, has openly called for the removal of all foreign nationals in the country.

South African minister warns political leaders against blaming refugees for poor governance 19 October 2018

Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba said on Friday that some political leaders tend to blame asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants for their service delivery failures and lack of vision and capacity. The minister made the remarks on the occasion of re-opening the Port Elizabeth Refugee Reception Office in Eastern Cape Province. He apparently was referring to a growing trend in South Africa where refugees have been targeted in recent xenophobia-inspired attacks.

DA plays populist immigration card 23 October 2018

As elsewhere in the world, migration is increasingly at the centre of South Africa’s public and political debate. For the first time, the country’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has released a document outlining its “immigration plan” for the country. In advance of next year’s national election, this is the first of many policy documents intended to distinguish the party and win voter support. In a country where many citizens are uncomfortable with current migration patterns, this is an important, if contentious, move.

Migrants ISS Today: The ‘illegal migrant’ red herring 24 October 2018

As elections approach, political parties are targeting undocumented migrants as a source of South Africa’s ills. According to Solly Msimanga, City of Tshwane mayor and Gauteng Province’s premier candidate for South Africa’s 2019 elections, “The ANC (ruling African National Congress) has failed to secure our borders to a point where it actively contributes to illegal immigration”. He was speaking at the launch of the Democratic Alliance (DA) immigration policy recently.

Statistician-general clarifies South Africa’s migrant estimates  17 October  2018

There is an unfortunate perception that South Africa has more migrants than estimated by Statistics South Africa, with recent reports claiming that 11 million undocumented migrants live in the country. In terms of the United Nations principles of official statistics, I have as statistician-general the responsibility and obligation of responding to the misuse or misreporting of official statistics. South Africa’s statistician-general Risenga Maluleke explains how Stats SA estimates the number of migrants living in the country – and why it’s important that public debate is based on such empirical data.

Home Affairs reopens refugee office closed in 2011 22 October 2018

“The courts had spoken. We had to do it,” said Fatima Chohan, Deputy Minister of the Department of Home Affairs. The Port Elizabeth Refugee Reception Office was officially re-opened on Friday 19 October 2018 by Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba. The province has been without such a facility since Home Affairs unilaterally closed it in 2011. Following years of legal action, public outcry and civil society activism, Home Affairs was ordered in March 2015 to reopen the facility by 1 July 2015 by the Supreme Court of Appeal. Years after that court deadline, the facility has at last reopened at a new premises in Sydenham.

We need to do more for young people who migrate to South Africa 28 October 2018

The Bishops of Lesotho are aware that they need to do more to accompany young people particularly young migrants, most of whom go to South Africa in search of jobs. “We need to do more for young migrants who go to South Africa and sometimes get lost there. Most times even as they go to South Africa, it is not all of them who get jobs. We need to do more (for them). We need as a Church to come up with strategies and pastoral programmes that work for them,” the prelate from the Kingdom of Lesotho said.

Ethiopian migrants drown near Tanzania coast trying to sail to SA 24  October 2018

Seven Ethiopian migrants drowned after a boat carrying 13 people capsized off the coast of Tanzania while en route to South Africa, Tanzanian police said on Tuesday.  Tanga Regional Police Commander Edward Bukombe said the boat went down early on Monday off East Africa’s Indian Ocean near Tanzania’s maritime border with Kenya.


Trade, migration bring life to Ethiopia-Eritrea border 23 October 2018

For twenty years, only soldiers, refugees or rebels had ventured to the border between the enemy brothers of the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia and Eritrea. But with the normalization of their relations, the former desert no man’s land is now quivering with activity. Trucks loaded with bricks and wood, fruit and vegetable carts and local buses visiting their families are now crossing the border under the benevolent eye of soldiers who until a few months ago looked at each other as dogs from their trenches dug in the rock.

Study puts Kenya on the spot for backtracking on migrant policies 22 October 2018

Kenya has been put on the spot for either backtracking or disregarding several regional and international policies seeking to protect migrants. A report released today on Free and Safe Migration in East Africa reveals that the government, for instance, is reluctant to implement crucial regional protocols aimed at accelerating economic growth and development. The report by African Center for Migration and Society in collaboration with Open Society Foundations notes that strict work restrictions for migrants including crackdown on illegal migrants have increased irregular migration. It discloses that work restrictions through limitations such as access to work permits by foreign nationals looking for employment have ‘increased irregular migration’ for migrants in the country instead of controlling them.

Solar Power Lights up the World’s Fastest-Growing Refugee Camp 25 October 2018

Solar energy has long powered homes, businesses and portable electronics. Now, it’s powering a field hospital in the middle of the world’s fastest-growing refugee camp. Here, the population density is five times above the United Nations’ recommended standard for refugee camps, and there is a dire need for more health services among this vulnerable community.

Rural Migration: An Opportunity, Not A Challenge 19 October 2018

While it can be a challenging issue, migration must be seen as an opportunity and be met with sound, coherent policies that neither stem nor promote the phenomenon. A new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) examines rural migration and urges countries to maximise the contribution of such migrants to economic and social development.


Forced Displacement, Migration and Pregnancy Risk: Micro-level evidence from Burundi 25 October 2018

Migration and forced displacement have become truly global phenomena. While there is a considerable body of research on the relationship between migration and fertility, we lack systematic knowledge on the effects of armed conflict and forced displacement on reproductive behaviour. Using unique survey data from Burundi, The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) compares the reproductive behaviour of women who migrated voluntarily with women who were forcibly displaced and with women who never migrated. This policy brief summarizes the findings of a new study that uses micro-data to address one of the key concerns of people who migrate or are forced to flee: how does their migration impact their reproductive behaviour.

Joint UNDP/ILO report compares work and life conditions of regular and irregular migrant workers 23 October 2018

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand share a long history of labour migration due to geographic proximity, cultural and linguistic similarities and differences in socio-economic development. However, the number of Lao people registered through regular migration channels for work in Thailand remains proportionally small and most movement for employment continues to be irregular. Regular labour migration links to more benefits for migrant workers and their families than irregular migration according to a new UNDP/ILO report on migrant work experiences from Lao People’s Democratic Republic to Thailand.



Tags: Africa    forced migration;refugees; asylum seekers;development;xenophobia   

Categorised in: News