Exploring the Boundaries of Protection and Human Rights for International Migrants in South Africa: A Facilitated Conversation

Invited Panel at the 1st Migration & Urbanisation Conference organised by the South African National Department of Social Development and Statistics South Africa

About the conference:

Migration and urbanisation have been described as major issues impacting on the world’s economic, political and social landscape. Migration has emerged as a dominant theme in global political discourse and international relations. Similarly, patterns of internal migration and urbanisation have significant implications on origin and destination areas within countries. Thus migration is an area of significant focus in policymaking and administration at all levels of governance. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes for the first time the contribution of migration to sustainable development. Migration is a crosscutting issue, relevant to all of the Sustainable Development Goals. Eleven out of seventeen goals contain targets and indicators that are relevant to migration or mobility. The Agenda’s core principle to “leave no one behind”, including migrants, requires data disaggregation by migratory status, opening up significant migration data needs but also the opportunity to improve migration data.

Panel discussion

This facilitated panel conversation will bring together the perspectives of academics, government, and international organizations working in the field of international protection. Inputs will consider the applicability of the current global refugee regime – as enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention – in the South African context. This will include consideration of the experiences of marginalised asylum seekers, refugees, and forced migrants, current policy developments associated with the management of international migration in relation to refugee protection, and the relationship between international organisations and the state.

FacilitatorProf Jo Vearey (African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits University)


Sarah-Jane Savage (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – UNHCR)

Department of Home Affairs (TBC)

Dr Nicholas Maple (African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits University)

Dr B Camminga (African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits University)

The panel is part of “PROTECT The Right to International Protection. A Pendulum between Globalization and Nativization?”

PROTECT is an EU funded research project which studies the impact of the UN’s Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration on refugees’ right to international protection. The vision of PROTECT is to discover ways of advancing the international protection system within today’s turbulent political context. We consist of 11 partner universities in Europe, Canada, and South Africa. More information can be found on the project website: https://protectproject.w.uib.no/

Date: Wednesday 28 July

Time: 09H00 – 10H00

Free registrationhttps://migration.statssa.gov.za/index.php/registration/