Looking back at human rights developments in 2013, several themes stand out. The unchecked slaughter of civilians in Syria elicited global horror and outrage, but not enough to convince world leaders to exert the pressure needed to stop it. That has led some to lament the demise of the much-vaunted “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, which world governments adopted less than a decade ago to protect people facing mass atrocities. Yet it turned out to be too soon to draft the epitaph for R2P, as it is known, because toward the end of the year it showed renewed vitality in several African countries facing the threat of large-scale atrocities: the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Statelessness is a reality for more than 12-million people around the world, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In absence of a system to identify and protect the stateless in South Africa, it will be challenging to obtain reliable figures on this population.

LHR, in partnership with ACMS, details the latest trends on policy shifts and detention in South Africa. These recent changes amount to a significant reduction of asylum-seeker and refugee protection, culminating in increased danger of re-arrest, in contravention of domestic and international law.

This report summarises the work of LHR's Immigration Detention Monitoring Unit from February 2011 to March 2012. Despite the legal protections afforded to asylum-seekers, refugees and other migrants in South Africa, the detention and deportation of foreign nationals continues to be regularly carried out in an unlawful manner.

Persistent bias and incapacity in South African refugee status determination.

Represented by 20-member delegation headed by H.E Mr. Andries NEL, Deputy Minister of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development of South Africa.

LHR has made submissions to the Department of Home Affairs on the draft regulations to both the Births and Deaths Registration Act No 51 of 1992 and the South African Citizenship Act No 88 of 1995.

The report Captured Childhood is based on interviews with 70 children in 11 countries and draws on international law to ask for an end to child detention. A model to prevent child detention is described and builds on good practices identified in research done by the International Detention Coalition. Detention, even for a very short  time, can cause long-lasting damage and is unnecessary in the case of children and families.

The effective governance of South Africa's scarce water resources plays a crucial role in the realisation of the Constitutional right to a healthy environment and to have access to sufficient water. There is severe stress on water resources and their management.