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 22 September 2.00 – 3.30pm SAST

Exploring the Boundaries of International Protection and Human Rights Instruments in South(ern) Africa

Topics to be covered:

South Africa: Asylum and the boundaries of International Protection:

  • Access to documentation and the backlog of asylum claims
  • The role of the Global Compacts and pledges made by the state and UNHCR
  • The role of Zimbabwean Exemption Visa Permits
  • Regional (SADC) responses to international protection needs

Responses to COVID-19 and Vaccine programmes:

  • Asylum-seeker permit renewals during lockdown
  • Deportation, detentio; border closures
  • Access to COVID-19 relief
  • Access to the national Vaccine programme

Speakers and program:

Helidah Refiloe Ogude-Chambert, a South African-Kenyan national, is an International Affairs and Development academic and professional with over ten years of experience, including holding positions in The Presidency, Government of South Africa, and currently as a Social Development Specialist at The World Bank in Washington D.C. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Public and Urban Policy at The New School, New York City.

James Chirwa works at the Legal Advice Team at Messina Legal Advice Office (MLAO). He is also a Research Assistant for the Xenowatch project for the limpopo province , African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) based at Wits University

Asmita Parshotam is an admitted attorney, currently working as an international trade and development expert. She is a well-recognised author and is widely published in peer-revised journals. She also has an extensive media engagement history, including interviews with the BBC, SABC, eNCA, CNBC Africa and publications with Project Syndicate. She has previously worked at the World Trade Organisation, the European Centre for Development Policy Management and the South African Institute of International Affairs.

Kudakwashe Vanyoro is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS), University of the Witwatersrand, in South Africa interested in migration, temporality, borders, humanitarianism and governance in Africa. He is currently working on a book project looking at governing immobilities at the Zimbabwe South Africa border.

Panel Chair, Jo Vearey is an Associate Professor and the director of  the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand. Jo works on migration and health in the southern African region and globally. With a background in public health, her work explores the relationship between migration, mobility, and health.