Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30123
Context, Challenges, Constraints and Strategies of Non-Profit Organisations in Responding to the Needs of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Cape Town, South Africa

Authors: C. O’Brien, Chloe Reiss

Abstract:

While South Africa has been the chosen host country for over 1,2 million asylum seekers/refugees it has at the same time, been struggling to address the needs of its own people who are still trapped in poverty with little prospects of employment. This limited exploratory, qualitative study was undertaken in Cape Town with a purposive sample of 21 key personnel from various NPOs providing a service to asylum seekers/refugees. Individual in-depth face to face interviews were carried out and the main findings were: Some of the officials at the Department of Home Affairs, health personnel, landlords, school principals, employers, bank officials and police officers were prejudicial in their practices towards asylum seekers/ refugees. The major constraints experienced by NPOs in this study were linked to a lack of funding and minimal government support, strained relationship with the Department of Home Affairs and difficulties in accessing refugees. And finally, the strategies adopted by these NPOs included networking with other service providers, engaging in advocacy, raising community awareness and liaising with government. Thus, more focused intervention strategies are needed to build social cohesion, address prejudices which fuels xenophobic attacks and raise awareness/educate various sectors about refugee rights. Given this burgeoning global problem, social work education and training should include curriculum content on migrant issues. Furthermore, larger studies using mixed methodology approaches would yield more nuanced data and provide for more strategic interventions.

Keywords: Refugees and asylum seekers, non-profit organisations, refugee challenges, constraints of service delivery.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1127050

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 651

References:


[1] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 2015. UNHCR Global Trends - Forced Displacement in 2015. https://s3.amazonaws.com/unhcrsharedmedia/2016/2016-06-20-global-trends/2016-06-14-Global-Trends-2015.pdf (10th August 2016).
[2] Crisp, J. 2010. Africa’s Refugees: Patterns, Problems and Policy Challenges. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 18 (2): 157-178. DOI: 10.1080/02589000050080986
[3] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 2013 UNHCR Global Trends. Available at: http://www.unhcr.org/statistics/country/5399a14f9/unhcr-global-trends-2013.html (10th August 2016).
[4] Baggio, F. Ed. 2014. Africans on the Move: Human Mobility in Ghana, Nigeria, Angola and South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa: Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa.
[5] Amit, R. & Kriger, N. 2014. Making Migrants ‘Il-legible’: The Policies and Practices of Documentation in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Kronos, 40 (1): 269-290.
[6] Smit, R. 2015. ‘Trying to Make South Africa My Home’: Integration into the Host Society and the Well-being of Refugee Families. Journal of Comparative Family Studies (1): 39 – 55.
[7] United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 2015. UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update – South Africa. 1- 6. Available at: http://www.unhcr.org/publications/fundraising/5461e604b/unhcr-global-appeal-2015-update-south-africa.html (1st September, 2016).
[8] The Refugees Act, No. 130 of 1998. 1998. Government gazette. 402 (19544). 2 December. Government notice no.1558. Cape Town: Government Printer. Available at: http://www.gatewayservices.co.za/about-us/faq/
[9] Adjai, C. & Lazaridis, G. 2013. Migration, Xenophobia and New Racism in Post-Apartheid South Africa. International Journal of Social Science Studies, 1 (1): 192- 205.
[10] Adjai, C. & Lazaridis, G. 2014. People, State and Civic Responses to Immigration, Xenophobia and Racism in the New South Africa. Int. Migration & Integration 15: 237-255.
[11] Crush, J. & McDonald, D. A. 2001a. Introduction to Special Issue: Evaluating South African Immigration Policy after Apartheid. Africa Today, 48 (3): 1-13.
[12] Landau, L. B. & Wa Kabwe Segatti, A. 2009. Human Development Impacts of Migration: South Africa Case Study. (Research Paper 2009/05). United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports.
[13] Handmaker, J. 2001. No Easy Walk: Advancing Refugee Protection in South Africa. Africa Today. 1-28.
[14] Klotz, A. 2012. South Africa as an Immigration State. Politikon, 39 (2): 189-208.
[15] Pugh, S. A. Advocacy in the Time of Xenophobia: Civil Society, the State, and the Politics of Migration in South Africa. Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies. 41 (2): 227-247.
[16] Crisp, J. & Kiragu, E. 2010. Refugee protection and international migration: A review of UNHCR’s role in Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa. Switzerland: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Policy Development and Evaluation Service. 1- 31.
[17] Sen, A. 1999. Development as Freedom. New York: Anchor Books.
[18] Gordon, S. L. 2014. Welcoming refugees in the rainbow nation: contemporary attitudes toward refugees in South Africa. African Geographical Review: 1-17.
[19] Allen, R. 2009. Benefit or Burden? Social Capital, Gender, and the Economic Adaptation of Refugees. International Migration Review, 43 (2): 332-365.
[20] Barbera, F. & Ochse, E. Eds. 2009. A Game of Mirrors: Economic development and social cohesion in Piedmont and South Africa. Italy: Frame-Lab.
[21] Jacobsen, K. 2002. Can refugees benefit the state? Refugee resources and African state building. Journal of Modern African Studies, 40 (4): 577-596. DOI: 10.1017} S0022278X02004081 Available at: http://users.polisci.wisc.edu/schatzberg/ps362/Jacobsen2002.pdf
[22] Landau, L. B. 2014. Wither Policy? Southern African Perspectives on Understanding Law, ‘Refugee’ Policy and Protection. Journal of Refugee Studies 27 (4): 534-553.
[23] Maniragena, J. E. 2014. An Evaluation of service effectiveness of selected refugee service providers in urban and surrounding areas of the Cape Town Metropolitan area. Masters Thesis. Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
[24] Department of Home Affairs. 2014. Re: Reasons for the decision of the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs made on January 2014 in respect of the future of the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office. 7 February 2014. Cape Town: Department of Home Affairs. Available at: http://www.scalabrini.org.za/wp-ontent/uploads/2012/11/Decision-of-Director-General-on-future-of-Cape-Town-Refugee-Reception-Office.pdf
[25] Taylor, J. 2004. Refugees and social exclusion: What the literature says. Migration Action, 26 (2): 16-31.
[26] Anderson, K. 2011. “We’d Go Home if We Could” – Political Xenophobia, Citizenship and Human Rights of Asylum Seekers and Refugees: Cape Town, A Pilot Study. Masters Thesis. University of Cape Town.
[27] Rugunanan, P. & Smit, R. 2011. Seeking refuge in South Africa: Challenges facing a group of Congolese and Burundian refugees. Development Southern Africa 28 (5): 705-718.
[28] Ward, C. L., Van der Merwe, A. & Dawes, A. 2013. Youth Violence: Sources and Solutions in South Africa. Cape Town: UCT Press.
[29] RSA. 2013. Youth Enterprise Development Strategy 2013-2023. Department of Trade and Industry, Republic of South Africa. Available at: https://www.thedti.gov.za/news2013/YEDS_strategy2013.pdf
[30] RSA. 1996. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996: Act 108 of 1996 as amended by Act No. 35 of 1997. Pretoria: Government Printers.
[31] RSA. 2014. Annual Report 2014-2015. Department of Home Affairs. Available at: at: http://www.dha.gov.za/files/Annual%20Reports/Annual_Report_2014_15.pdf
[32] Ojedokun, O. 2015. An ethical approach to the xenophobia against foreigners in South Africa. OGIRISI: a New Journal of African Studies, 11(1): 169-191.
[33] Taket, A., Crisp, B.R., Nevill, A., Lamaro, G., Graham, M. & Barter-Godfrey, S. (eds). 2009. Theorising social exclusion. London: Routledge.