SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

January Press Review


Everything politicians tell you about immigration is wrong. This is how it actually works

The Guardian, 29 December 2023

The article challenges the perception of an accelerating global migration crisis, emphasizing that international migrants constitute only about 3% of the world population, with a stable percentage over the past 50 years. It argues that poverty is not the primary driver of migration, as evidence shows that migration increases as poor countries become richer. The piece highlights that labor demand, fueled by policies promoting economic and labor market liberalization, is the main driver of growing immigration to Western countries since the 1990s. The author calls for a more honest discussion about migration, recognizing its complexities and advocating for informed policy decisions addressing issues of inequality, labor, and social justice.

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Humanitarian Action for Children 2024 - Response in coastal countries linked to central Sahel crisis spillover

UNICEF, 28 December  2023

Children and adolescents in northern regions of Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo are facing humanitarian consequences due to the spillover of the central Sahel crisis, leading to population displacement. Basic services like schools and health facilities are overwhelmed, and UNICEF requires $68.4 million to provide humanitarian assistance for 1.6 million people, including 994,000 children, with a focus on water, sanitation, hygiene, child protection, and education services to address the urgent needs and contribute to long-term solutions for vulnerable communities. The crisis has resulted in the closure of schools, internal displacement, and heightened tension among communities, further exacerbated by recurrent flooding and health epidemics in the coastal countries.

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To End Cruel Migration Policies, Humanize Those They Impact

Human Rights Watch, 10 December 2023

The author reflects on their family's history of migration and highlights the harsh realities faced by today's migrants. The article criticizes the European Union's practice of externalizing human rights obligations to asylum seekers, emphasizing double standards and portraying migration as a security concern. The United States is also criticized for policies hindering legal pathways, criminalizing migration, and creating a dire situation for asylum seekers. The author calls for a collective effort at local, national, and international levels to humanize migrants, uphold human dignity, and pressure governments to fulfill their legal obligations.

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War in Sudan: more than 7 million displaced - UN

Rédaction Africanews with AFP, 22 December 2023

The ongoing conflict in Sudan between the army and paramilitaries has resulted in the displacement of 7.1 million people, marking it as the world's largest displacement crisis, according to a UN spokesperson. The recent escalation of fighting in the state of al-Jazeera has forced up to 300,000 people to flee Wad Madani, previously a humanitarian hub, bringing the total displaced population to 7.1 million, including 1.5 million seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Unicef reports that in less than a week, at least 150,000 children have been forced to flee their homes in al-Jazeera state.

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Tunisia: "daily institutional violence" against migrants

Rédaction Africanews with AFP, 18 December 2023

The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) has reported that migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Tunisia face "daily institutional violence," including arbitrary arrests, forced displacements, and illegal expulsions towards the borders with Libya and Algeria. The 58-page study, citing direct testimonies and partner NGOs, places responsibility on Tunisian authorities for human rights violations, noting increased pressure from Europe to reduce irregular migration in the Mediterranean. The report highlights a profound institutional change in the summer, with illegal evictions, forced displacements, and deportations, raising concerns about Tunisia's inability to protect vulnerable individuals and their undignified living conditions.

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8 jobs government is desperately looking for foreigners to fill in South Africa

BusinessTech, 23 December 2023

The Department of Employment and Labour in South Africa has identified critical professions facing severe skills shortages, including Information Technology, Business and Management, Design, Engineering, Financial Sectors, Marketing, Medical and Health, Arts, and Media. These professions benefit the most from skilled migrants, and the Department of Home Affairs' scarce skills list allows foreigners to obtain work visas, provided employers demonstrate the unavailability of qualified local candidates. However, a significant obstacle is the lengthy visa application processing time, with delays up to 48 weeks, affecting companies' expansion plans and job creation in a country with a 33% unemployment rate.

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'Now They Have Solace': Scalabrini Centre on Refugees Act Sections Thrown Out

Eyewitness News, 12 December 2023

The Constitutional Court of South Africa has ruled in favor of the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, setting aside sections of the Refugees Act. The court categorized refugees as an "especially vulnerable group," stating that the contested sections, which automatically deemed an asylum seeker to have abandoned their application if their visa wasn't renewed within a month of expiry, were at odds with compassion and the principle of non-refoulement. The decision is expected to have a significant impact on the lives of asylum seekers by providing protection against arrest, detention, and deportation to potentially persecutory environments.

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