migrants

Impact on asylum seekers of South Africa’s tardy officialdom

For many reasons, South Africa is not an easy place to seek asylum, and new research by human rights lawyer Jacob van Garderen highlights some of the difficulties faced by asylum seekers as well as other migrants. Among the worst issues he found were ongoing problems over access to safe housing, difficulties around documentation because of a government system that doesn’t appear to be working – and the ever present threat of xenophobia.

Evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is not managing to process asylum seeker claims, according to interviews and research by South African human rights lawyer, Jacob van Garderen.

He said that one of the results of the failure by DHA to carry out this critical function was that asylum seekers could not be properly documented and this affected every aspect of their lives.

Major new development for law and rights related to African refugees, migrants

A new ‘centre of excellence’, focused on law that deals with refugees and migrants in Africa, was announced this week. Based at the University of Cape Town, the project has three major backers: the UNHCR (the UN’s refugee agency), the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges and the Judicial Institute for Africa. Among its chief objects, the project will focus on university-certified training in refugee and migrant law for judges, magistrates and others working with refugees in Africa.


The UNHCR (the UN’s refugee agency), the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ) and the Judicial Institute for Africa (Jifa), have committed to an exciting and potentially far-reaching new joint project: the establishment of a centre of excellence, based at the University of Cape Town, providing university-certified courses to judges around Africa on issues of asylum and refugee law.

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