Press Review February 2019

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South Africans are not welcoming to foreign nationals, summit hears 20 February 2019

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Tuesday held a summit at the Constitution Hill to explore if South Africans were welcoming to refugees as stipulated in the White Paper.

South Africa’s asylum and refugee system is under pressure: in recent years, South Africa has become one of the top ten refugee-receiving countries, mostly from elsewhere in Africa. Quite unusually in the global south, it conducts individual refugee status determination, resulting in more than 90% refusals.

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Blind Zimbabwean loses refugee status after identity muddle 28 February 2019

A blind Zimbabwean living in South Africa has lost his disability grant after his refugee status was withdrawn. The Department of Home Affairs says he has been visiting Zimbabwe, but the blind 53-year-old says he has not left South Africa since 2002.

From 2002 to 2007, Blessing Marindo worked for an NGO called Global for Disabled People in Cape Town. When its funding thinned, he was laid off and he obtained a disability grant.

Marindo has had refugee status since 2003. But in August 2018 he received a letter from the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs saying his status had been withdrawn. The reason given is that according to the department’s records he travelled to Zimbabwe in 2012, 2013 and 2016.

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Migrants and refugees make a significant contribution 15 February 2019

Migration is a global phenomenon, which continues to grow daily. There are 244-million international migrants, 3.3% of the global population, according to the International Organisation for Migration’s World Migration Report 2018.

A number of push-and-pull factors cause people to move — voluntarily or involuntarily — between countries. Some of these include natural disasters, political unrest, conflicts, poverty, human rights violations, limited opportunities and little safety.

Migrants and refugees have been identified as a vulnerable group because, in most cases, they are forced to flee the country of their birth to seek a better life.

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Shocking’ judgment for Somali asylum seekers  12 February 2019

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) has described the Pretoria high court’s decision to dismiss an application by eight Somali asylum seekers to review their rejected applications as shocking.

The head of LHR’s strategic litigation programme, Wayne Ncube, said the organisation intended to appeal the decision. “We feel it does not reflect the facts in the papers or take into consideration judicial precedence from superior courts or the prevailing country information from Somalia,” he said.

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Revealed: “High number” of South Africans consider emigration to Australia 4 February 2019

There’s something so very alluring about living Down Under. Whether it’s the laid-back lifestyle or their world-class sporting venues, Australia is a destination that has always vividly appealed to South Africans. Judging by data given to us by Suffolk Law, plenty of our citizens are taking the plunge on the other side of the world.

The Perth-based legal firm have been able to calculate how many people are enquiring about swapping Mzansi for Australia on a daily basis. Their figures are approximate, and also feature details about peak application times.

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‘Millions’ of Zimbabweans living in South Africa? Data doesn’t back claim   5 February 2019

A member of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has called on local Zimbabweans to help resolve the conflict in their home country.

“We have got millions of Zimbabweans living in South Africa,” Lindiwe Zulu, a national minister and chair of the ANC’s subcommittee on international relations, said at a media briefing.

“We would like to see them being involved in the resolution of the conflict in Zimbabwe.”

Does data back up Zulu’s claim that there are “millions” of Zimbabweans in South Africa? We checked.

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Breaking Africa’s cycle of forced displacement 26 February 2019

Children make up 59% of Africa’s refugees and 50% of its internally displaced people. And while forced displacement continues to steal the childhoods of millions of Africans, adults aren’t moving fast enough to resolve the continent’s ongoing conflicts.2

Fifty years ago, the mass displacement of people due to liberation struggles led to the adoption of the 1969 Organisation of African Unity (OAU) Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa. At the time, there were 700 000 refugees in Africa. This is 58% of the 1.2-million refugees currently in Uganda alone.

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African leaders agree on renewed efforts to end refugee crisis 12 February 2019

PRETORIA – African leaders have agreed to step up efforts to end the displacement of populations and end the refugee crisis on the continent.

Their final statement after their 32nd summit in Addis Ababa calls on the United Nations to show solidarity and assist in providing funds for peace and security in Africa.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who attended the African Union summit, says the world can learn from Africa’s humane treatment of refugees.

Sub-Sahara Africa has a quarter of the world’s refugees.

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Africa welcomes refugees but freedom, jobs needed – aid groups 12 February 2019

African nations have been lauded for adopting a more liberal “open door” policy towards refugees than Western nations, despite being low-income economies.

But refugees are then usually confined to camps in Africa. They cannot access basic public services like health and education and are not allowed to work. Those fleeing within their own country are vulnerable to attacks by armed factions.

Refugees and internally displaced people topped the agenda at the African Union’s (AU) annual heads of state summit, which ended on Monday – a move welcomed by humanitarians as growing numbers are forcibly uprooted around the world.

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AU summit 32 – Renewed focus on refugees 5 February 2019

As part of the ongoing reform of the African Union (AU), there is a proposal to shift the portfolio for refugees and displaced people away from political affairs, where it is currently based. This restructuring coincides with the AU’s decision to designate 2019 as the Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons.

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UN boss on Africa’s treatment of refugees 13 February 2019

African nations are setting an example for richer countries when it comes to the treatment of refugees, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a press conference in Addis Ababa.

The top UN man was in Africa for the annual African Union Summit and hosted a media conference after meeting the African Union Commission chair.

This year’s summit focussed on refugees and internally displaced persons.

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Mozambique committed to refugee cause 12 February 2019

The Mozambican government has expressed its commitment and solidarity with the cause of refugees and internally displaced persons on the African continent.

The announcement was made on Monday, 11 February 2018, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa by the country´s minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, José Pacheco, on the sidelines of the 32nd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Union African (UA).The summit is running under the theme, “2019: Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions for Forced Displacement in Africa”.

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The world’s 40 million invisible refugees 11 February 2019

People displaced within their own countries – whether by conflict or disaster – often struggle for the same recognition and protections afforded to refugees. And yet the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement were launched 21 years ago today – the creation of Sudanese diplomat Francis Deng, then the UN’s special rapporteur for IDPs, or internally displaced persons.

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Jordan: Livelihood Opportunities for Refugees – February 2019 6 February 2019

Discussion on livelihoods and the Right to Work for refugees in Jordan happened frequently after the Jordan Compact which was signed in London in February 2016, at the Syrian Regional Conference hosted by the United Kingdom, Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the United Nations.

On that occasion, which brought together international humanitarian and development actors, the Government of Jordan pledged to make 200,000 job opportunities available to Syrian refugees by 2020, measured by number of work permits issued. The Compact combined humanitarian and development funding through multi-year grants (USD 700 million annually for three years) and concessional loans (USD 1.9 billion).

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