10 July Programme: Asylum in South Africa

Lawyers for Human Rights will be hosting a special side seminar on 10 July 2013 at PILG on the future of Asylum in South Africa.The full day seminar, made up of several different programme items, promises to be an enlightening discussion into South African asylum and refugee laws. A fascinating photo exhibition, and discussion on statelessness, will be hosted at lunch. We would encourage anyone he has an interest in this area to attend.

The full programme is:

09h00-09h30: Welcome and Opening

 Jacob van Garderen , National Director: Lawyers for Human Rights                                                               

 Opening address:  The future of local integration for refugees in South Africa

Clementine Nkweta Salami- UNHCR Regional Representative      

9h30- 11h30: Panel 1 – Accessing Asylum Protection                                                                                                   

Discussion around the closures of the metropolitan refugee reception ofices in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and the future of access to asylum in these cities.

Moderater:  David Cote, LHR Pretoria

Panellists:   Solomon Wasia Masitsa, Kituo cha Sheria (Kenya), David Roussouw, NMMU Port Elizabeth, William Kerfoot, LRC  Cape Town               

  11h30 – 13h00: Panel 2 – Increasing xenophobic tensions and the threat on refugee traders’ right to work                   

A discussion on xenophobia as a threat to local integration. The panelists will also reflect on civil society’s response to the recent scurge of xenophobic attacks.  This discussion will focus on the legal and social challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers who operate spaza shops and engage in informal trading. Recent developments, including policy proposals to limit asylum seekers’ right to work and the closure of spaza shops, are negatively affecting the socio economic rights of refugee traders and their ability to sustain themselves.

Moderator:   Iqbal Suleman, LHR Pretoria

Panellists: Alphonse Munyaneza, UNHCR; Loren Landau, Wits ACMS; Alfani Yoyo, CoRMSA

13:00 – 14:30: Lunchtime photo exhibition and presentation on statelessness

Hosted by Jessica George and Liesl Muller, LHR

  14:30 – 16:00: The Future of Asylum in South Africa

The 1998 Refugees Act was hailed as a modern protection-oriented approach to host refugees in Africa. Sadly, South Africa has failed to fully impement the Act resulting in huge asylum backlogs and inaccessible procedures. Recent changes in asylum policy and practice suggest a major shift in South Africa’s approach to asylum. This panel will consider the implications of these changes and its impact on the future of asylum in South Africa and the region.

Moderator: Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh (LHR)

Panellists: Roni Amit (ACMS); Solomon Wasia Masitsa, Kituo cha Sheria (Kenya); Mpilo Shange-Butane (CoRMSA)

Download the full programme here..


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