[PRESS STATEMENT] Lawyers for Human Rights Releases Immigration Detention Report

Date: 09/06/2020

On Friday, 12 June 2020, via webinar, Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) will launch its report, “Monitoring Policy, Litigious and Legislative Shifts in Immigration Detention in South Africa”. The report demonstrates recent changes in policy and practice in respect of immigration detention in South Africa, as well as legislative and jurisprudential development over the past few years, and reflects on the various strategies employed by LHR to address these concerns.

In particular, the Report turns on data gathered through LHR’s monitoring activities as well as analysis of the application of the Lawyers for Human Rights v Minister of Home Affairs (2017) judgment, the Amendments to the Refugees Act and Refugees Regulations, 2018, which came into effect on 1 January 2020, and the closure of Refugee Reception Offices (RROs).

The report highlights the recent trends and concerns in policy and practice in relation to immigration detention. These include the continued arrests of newly arrived asylum seekers; lack of formalised, independent oversight of immigration detention; deplorable conditions of detention at detention centres; the inconsistent application of procedural safeguards and statutory limits; and the arrests of asylum seekers with expired documentation as a result of the partial or complete closure of RROs. The report further details and reflects on LHR’s strategies to address these concerns. In this regard, LHR’s key strategic litigation matters are referenced.

The launch event on Friday, 12 June 2020, in partnership with the International Detention Coalition, will additionally cover the challenges and opportunities that the current context is opening up with regards to advancing implementation of alternatives to detention as a viable solution to govern migration while respecting rights and ensuring access to services for all, regardless of status.

Read the full report here. 

For more information, contact:

Wayne Ncube: wayne@lhr.org.za or 071 850 3434

Charne Tracey: charne@lhr.org.za or 084 612 0979

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