Press statement: Court to rule on refugee children’s right to documentation

Published: 12/Mar/2015
Source: Lawyers for Human Rights

Lawyers for Human Rights appeared in the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday on behalf of a number of separated minors to deal with access to education and documentation for this vulnerable group.

An interim order was granted in 2013 guaranteeing asylum seeker and refugee children access to education. The second part of the case was aimed at developing a path to documentation by recognising them as dependents of their de facto caregivers. At the moment the Refugees Act doesn’t make any provision for separated minors – something the case seeks to address.

Separated minors are children that have been separated from both parents but not necessarily from other relatives. They differ from unaccompanied minors in that they fit into the category of persons who are dependents of the adult asylum seekers they accompany. Home Affairs disputes this and wants unaccompanied and separated minors to be treated the same and follow a cumbersome enquiry process prior to accessing documentation.

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Themes: Identity Documents, Nationality and Refugees
Regions: Southern Africa, South Africa
Year: 2015