SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

December Press Review


Across the globe, compassion for migrants has given way to cruel, performative politics

The Guardian, 12 Nov 2023

The article argues that leaders in various countries, including Britain, Italy, Tunisia, and Pakistan, are using tough immigration policies as a distraction from domestic failures. The focus on performative policymaking, such as deportation schemes and detention centers, is criticized for being more about projecting an image of toughness than addressing the actual complexities of immigration. The author highlights the contradiction between the desire to be tough on immigration and the simultaneous need for foreign workers, emphasizing that such policies often sacrifice the rights of migrants for economic and political objectives.

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Migration along the Eastern Corridor, Report 44

IOM, 30 Nov 2023

The Horn of Africa and Yemen constitute a major migration corridor, with hundreds of thousands of migrants, primarily traveling irregularly and relying on smugglers along the Eastern Route. This report offers monthly updates on migration dynamics through Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen, and Ethiopia, drawing from diverse data sources and consultations. It addresses protection concerns for migrants, the impact of Sudan's conflict at the Ethiopia border, children's issues, and details on returns from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen.

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Sunak’s New Rwanda Bill Aims to Override Some Human Rights Law

The New York Times, 6 December 2023

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to override the Supreme Court and human rights law to revive a controversial asylum scheme involving one-way flights to Rwanda. However, the proposal faced criticism from both opposition politicians and hard-liners within Sunak's own Conservative Party, leading to the resignation of Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick. The plan, previously deemed illegal by the Supreme Court, has been a central focus for Sunak, who is under pressure to address immigration concerns ahead of an upcoming election.

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Niger repeals law aimed at slowing migration

Rédaction Africanews, 28 November 2023

Niger's ruling junta has revoked a controversial 2015 law, enacted with the European Union, aimed at curbing migrant smuggling through a key route to Europe. The law's cancellation, signed by Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, has led to the consideration of releasing those previously convicted under it, while concerns rise about the potential increase in human rights risks and political tensions between Niger and the EU following the move, exacerbated by sanctions imposed on Niger after the July 26 coup.

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Chad struggles with soaring refugee crisis

Rédaction Africanews, 22 November 2023

Chad is grappling with one of Africa's largest and rapidly growing refugee populations, exceeding one million people, primarily driven by the conflict in neighboring Sudan. The surge in Sudanese refugees over the past six months, doubling the numbers, exacerbates humanitarian needs in a country already facing acute food insecurity, malnutrition, and intercommunal tensions. The World Food Programme aims to assist 2.85 million people, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and vulnerable locals, with emergency interventions, school feeding, and malnutrition prevention amid a challenging environment of economic pressures and climate challenges.

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South Africa’s immigration proposals are based on false claims and poor logic – experts

The Conversation, 23 November 2023

The South African government's recently issued White Paper on immigration is criticized for lacking an empirical foundation and proposing vague solutions to nonexistent problems. The paper is accused of inventing social realities, using misleading statistics to justify restrictive citizenship pathways, and avoiding substantive discussions on the positive economic impacts of immigration. Critics argue that the government is using immigrants as scapegoats for broader issues such as infrastructure challenges and economic inequality, rather than addressing citizens' basic needs effectively.

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South Africa Mulls Major Immigration Overhaul

Human Rights Watch, 20 November 2023

The Department of Home Affairs in South Africa has proposed immigration reforms, including withdrawing from and re-acceding to the United Nations' 1951 Refugee Convention with reservations, potentially compromising refugee rights. Frustrations around migration have led to scapegoating of foreigners, and while the government cites resource constraints, critics argue that such reforms should not undermine the country's human rights commitments, particularly regarding access to education and work for refugees. The proposed "safe first country" rule raises concerns about potential violations of international law, as seen in the risks of chain deportations observed in other regions.

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