No papers, no rights: The plight of undocumented foreign children in SA

Published: 7/Aug/2019
Source: Daily Maverick (South Africa)

By Sandisiwe Shoba

Without documentation, non-national children in South Africa are denied access to basic human rights. But with an inefficient asylum system in South Africa, the issues seem set to persist.

“Many of the difficulties facing migrant and refugee children in South Africa centre around a lack of viable documentation options,” says Sindi Moyo, the advocacy officer at the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town.

The non-profit, which advocates for the welfare of migrants, refugees and displaced people, released a report in July 2019 highlighting the plight of foreign children who migrate to South Africa from other African countries such as Zimbabwe, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The research surveyed children at the child and youth care centres in Gauteng, Limpopo and the Western Cape and found that overall 34% of the children held no documentation at all.

“This seemed to be especially problematic in Limpopo, where 82% of children were undocumented,” the report read.

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Themes: Acquisition by children, Birth Registration
Regions: South Africa
Year: 2019