The migration management of refugees in contemporary South Africa: the erosion of the refugee regime?

As part of the Lunchtime Seminar Series, the African Centre for Migration & Society invites you to a seminar titled The migration management of refugees in contemporary South Africa: the erosion of the refugee regime? presented by Nicholas Maple (Refugee Law Initiative (RLI), Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London).  This presentation will provide a multi-scalar perspective on contemporary South African refugee policy and practice. South Africa has traditionally been held up by UNHCR as a model of how to receive refugees on the African continent. On paper, this is still true, with robust national refugee legislation and a national constitution which together guarantee international and regional obligations towards refugees. Yet, refugee policy and practice in South Africa over recent years has been deviating significantly from the law. Drawing on the new South African Green and White Papers on International Migration as a focal point for discussion, this presentation will suggest via a form of regime shifting, the treatment of refugees in South Africa is rapidly moving from policy and practice founded on the global refugee regime to a new migration management approach whereby refugees are becoming seen solely as economic migrants.

Biography

Nicholas is a PhD student at the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI), Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, under the supervision of Dr David Cantor. His PhD is investigating reception policies in southern Africa and how they interact with the refugee regime and its core norms (with a particular focus on freedom of movement). He is currently in the middle of an affiliation at the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) at the University of the Witwatersrand and will be travelling to Zambia later this year to start an affiliation with the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research in Lusaka. He teaches on the core module (An Introduction to Refugee and Forced Migration Studies) on the MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. He has two years experience working in the field as an advocate for organisations such as Asylum Access, Norwegian Refugee Council and UNHCR. Finally, he has previously completed consultancy work for the RLI and Chatham House and has had work published by UNHCR.

Date: 15 August 2017

Time: 12:30 – 13:30

Venue: ACMS Seminar Room 2163, South East Wing, Second Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House, University of the Witwatersrand East Campus