Immigration and Asylum in South Africa: Identifying New Policy and Advocacy Directions

17 May 2017

As you know, migrant rights are under threat globally: Donald Trump’s bans, the European Union’s adding bricks to its fortress, or Australia off-shoring asylum seekers. In South Africa, shifting policy directions and practices are threatening the rights and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants.  As civil society we have long – and unsuccessfully – struggled to ensure that every international migrant – regardless of legal status – is protected in South Africa. Heightening securitization, populism, and the forthcoming elections will only heighten our challenges. With support from the Open Society Foundation, the African Centre for Migration & Society hosted six dialogues in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg with the goal of developing novel and more effective strategies for promoting the rights and welfare of refugees, asylum seekers, international migrants and the often poor communities in which they live.  Many of you participated in one or more of those dialogues. We would like to invite you again for a workshop where we will present the results of our gatherings and deliberate on new ways forward.

More specifically, the dialogues considered:

  1. Asylum in an Era of Securitisation
  2. Administrative Justice in the Immigration and Asylum System
  3. Xenophobia and Social Cohesion: The National Action Plan and Beyond
  4. Immigration, Regional Integration and Prosperity
  5. The Role of Local Authorities in Addressing Human Mobility and Social Cohesion
  6. Internationalising Informality: Work, Precarity and Vulnerability

The dialogues brought together a range of stakeholders including, government and non-governmental representatives and migrant and refugee organisation to create space where perspectives and positions not normally articulated could be introduced, challenged, and ultimately considered in developing policy positions and advocacy strategies. We will circulate the report prior to the meeting.

For those who confirm their attendance, we will distribute draft reports on the previous dialogues and a discussion document to take the discussion further. Please note we are unable to provide any travel support to delegates.

For any further questions and to RSVP please contact Duduzile Ndlovu at

Venue: Constitution Hill, Braamfontein

Date: 17 May 2017

Time: 9:30- 12:30 AM