Tag Archives: asylum seeker

Demystifying new immigration laws

By Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh New immigration regulations are causing consternation among foreign nationals living and working in South Africa, as the provisions severely prejudice their fight to become documented. One of the most concerning elements is the situation of foreign spouses and life partners of South African citizens or permanent residents. Those married and wishing to…

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How will our society be measured on corruption?

Rita* fled the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa in 2009 after suffering unspeakable horrors and grave violations to her rights amid ongoing violence. The department of home affairs immediately recognised her as a refugee but when she was asked to pay a large amount of money to receive her refugee permit, Rita refused…

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Long delays in processing asylum claims disgraceful

By Thandeka Duma Weeks spent in queues turned into months and months turned into years for a Burundian mother of four who applied for asylum in South Africa back in 2008. Her asylum application was rejected by the refugee status determination officer (RSDO) and she appealed this decision to the Refugee Appeal Board (RAB) in…

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Asylum seekers and bridging the gap in mental health

*Selam sits nervously in my office, lost in thought. In tears, she recalls her brushes with violence and terror since leaving Ethiopia in 2009. She has been diagnosed with a major depressive disorder, manifested by the continual abuse. She is one of many people being helped by Lawyers for Human Rights’ pilot project, funded by…

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Asylum in Germany, asylum in SA: Is there justice and humanity?

Although the numbers are disputed, South Africa and Germany are among the States Parties to the 1951 Refugee Convention that receive the most asylum applications in the world. It is interesting, then, to compare the legal frameworks that both countries apply to asylum seekers. The most striking difference is that, in South Africa, asylum seekers…

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Should Germany protect Edward Snowden?

By Christoph Tometten Asylum for Edward Snowden in Germany? The federal minister of the interior has ruled it out. But is it really impossible to grant protection to Snowden? A thorough reading of the law calls for a more differentiated answer. The asylum procedure is an assessment of whether an asylum seeker is entitled to…

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Denying it’s xenophobia isn’t helping

By David Cote The recent attacks against foreign nationals, particularly those operating shops in townships and informal settlements, have sent shivers down the spines of many in South Africa and across the continent. It has been five years since coordinated attacks exploded across the country and led to the deaths of 64 people and the…

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Five years on and no closer to solving xenophobic hatred

By Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh May marks five years since the xenophobic attacks that shocked the nation. But what has happened since then? Are we better prepared to deal with criminality of that scale than we were five years ago? The simple answer is no. South Africa — in its 19 year democratic history — had never…

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