News & Events
The UCT Refugee Rights Unit (RRU), as a member of the ASILES project, contributed towards the first ASILE Forum to assess the European Commission’s Pact on Migration and Asylum considering the UN Global Compact on Refugees and EU law.
The Uct Refugee Rights Unit and the University at large is hosting the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges in their annual conference and pre-conference training.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is conducting five-day training course, in partnership with the University of Cape Town Refugee Rights Unit, for practitioners and government officials from English-speaking African states. The training is scheduled for 8 to 12 July 2019.
Popo Mfubu attended Second Biennial Conference for Law and Society in Africa in Cairo, Egypt hosted jointly by the Centre for Law and Society and the American University in Cairo. The purpose of the conference was to bring together African scholars, academics, writers and practitioners.
On Monday 29 April 2019 renowned refugee law scholar and University of Michigan Law School Professor James Hathaway sat down for a Conversation on Refugee Law Challenges in Cape Town with the UNHCR, members of the South African Judiciary and Refugee Appeal Board, academics, refugee lawyers, and civil society.
On 30 January 2018 James Chapman presented a workshop at the Adonis Musati Project offices in Cape Town. The workshop was attended by twenty community leaders working towards furthering the rights of refugees in South Africa.
Information Sharing Session
The Refugee Rights Unit hosted a community information sharing session at the University of Cape Town. The session was attended by representatives of the Adonis Musati Project and the Woman and Children at Concern (“WCC”) community organisation. Popo Mfubu delivered a presentation on the Refugee Rights Unit’s work, while Gahlia Brogneri, director and co-founder of Adonis Musati provided information on the services provided by Adonis Musati.
On 29 January 2018, the Refugee Rights Unit represented by James Chapman met with the Red Cross Children's Hospital Developmental Paediatric Team. At the training session James Chapman discussed issues encountered by refugees and asylum seekers concerning documentation, school placement, access to special schooling and social grants.
We are commemorating the World Refugee Day and acknowledging the circumstances and plight of refugees. We also wish to celebrate the successes and triumphs of refugees and asylum seekers who have persevered and in some cases thrived, despite adversity. We will hear first hand from a Refugee about her experiences, challenges faced and successes. Thereafter we will watch the widely acclaimed film 'After Spring' to raise awareness and help people to learn about who refugees are and consider their experiences and circumstances.
The Refugee Rights Unit recently presented a paper on Hidden, Irregular and Forced Migration at a conference on migration organised by the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Presented by Ncumisa Willie, an attorney in the unit, the paper, which she co-authored with the unit director Fatima Khan, highlighted the ways in which recent government policy shifts in the asylum process contribute to the proliferation of “hidden” and irregular migrants in South Africa.
The refugee crisis in Europe has not only highlighted the limitations of dated international laws on asylum seekers, but different interpretations of the EU’s Schengen rules and the Dublin Convention have also clouded responses to the crisis, said refugee rights scholar Fatima Khan.
In July 2012, the Department of Home Affairs made a policy decision to close the Refugee Reception Offices in the southern provinces of South Africa, but specifically the Cape Town Office to newcomers. In addition, this policy requires all persons that did not originally receive their permits in Cape Town to now return to their office of first application if they wish to reside in South Africa legally and have their permits extended. The effect of this policy is to restrict the movement of asylum seekers to the northern areas of South Africa.