The African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) are running a series of interventions (including public workshops) to unpack the role of international protection and the reality of human rights based protection claims on the ground in Southern Africa today. Special attention will be given to the influence and impact of both the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) and Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in the current context of Covid-19.

These events are part of PROTECT’s Expert Forums series, all of which seek to explore the legal potential and impacts of the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migration. The events are organized by PROTECT’s South Africa-based researchers, Jo Vearey, Nicholas Maple, and Kudakwashe Vanyoro.

Key topics and issues to be covered in this series:

  1. Protection claims of refugees in South Africa
  2. The stretching and shrinking of international protection via state and local practices
  3. Ground-level approaches to protection for marginalised groups
  4. The impact of Covid-19 on:
    • International protection and localised forms and norms of protection
    • State approaches to health security and the international securitisation agenda
    • Regional responses to forced displacement, crisis and instability

Program 15 September 2.00 – 3.30pm SAST

Protection Issues and Solutions for LGBTIQ+ People in Contexts of Forced Displacement

Topics to be covered:

• The role of international human rights instruments on the ground in Southern Africa

• Refugee Status Determination Process (RSD) for LGBTIQ+ persons in South Africa: 10 years of refugee status denial letters

• The role of the Global Compacts in relation to the protection needs of LGBTIQ+ persons

• The impact of COVID-19 on labour, informality, access to specific services and forms of relief and protection

Speakers and program:

B Camminga (they/them) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the African Centre for Migration & Society, Wits University. Their work considers the interrelationship between the conceptual journeying of the term ‘transgender’ and the physical embodied journeying of transgender asylum seekers from the African continent. In 2018 they were runner up in the Africa Spectrum: Young African Scholars Award, which honours outstanding research by up-and-coming African scholars. Their first monograph Transgender Refugees & the Imagined South Africa (Palgrave, 2019) received honourable mention in the Ruth Benedict Prize for Queer Anthropology from the American Anthropology Association and the 2019 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies. They are the co-convenor of the African LGBTQI+ Migration Research Network (ALMN).

Nyasha Zhakata, popularly known as Masiziva or Masi, is a lesbian from Zimbabwe and founder of the community-based grassroots organisation Pachedu LGBTQI. Formed as a collective in June 2018 to assist and support LGBTQI refugees and migrants from the African continent living in South Africa. With members from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania, the collective provides mutual aid, including financial resources, food and medical and emotional support. Nysha is an Isibindi changemaker, and in 2020 she won an award for her work with Pachedu. At present, Pachedu, with their partners Triangle Project, Scalabrini, Passop, the African LGBTQI+ Migration Research Network (ALMN) and the Fruit Basket, are working to mitigate the impacts of COVID on its members by providing food, electricity, water and covering rental costs.

Tina Dixson is a PhD Candidate at The Australian National University researching the construction of narratives on queer women’s displacement and violence. Tina has previously co-founded the first Australian LGBTIQ+ refugee-led organization Forcibly Displaced People Network. She works in social policy on issues of LGBTIQ+ inclusion, women’s safety and refugee rights.

Panel Chair, Sally Gandar is a Head of Advocacy & Legal Advisor at The Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town. Perceiving migration as an opportunity, the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town is committed to alleviating poverty and promoting development in the Western Cape while fostering integration between migrants, refugees and South Africans. In providing assistance, they advocate respect for human rights and use a holistic approach that considers all basic needs.