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Immigration policy

UN to help South African government with intake and processing of foreigners

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced that it is partnering with Home Affairs department to improve the processing and assistance of foreign nationals, particularly those who are seeking refugee and asylum status.

Gillian Triggs, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Assistant High Commissioner for Protection with UNHCR met Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to review how South Africa is implementing its new immigration laws.

The minister said the aim was to partner with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide resource mobilization support and increased technical assistance to enhance the protection regime and “strengthen our strategic partnership”.

The meeting discussed the refugee system in South Africa and the strengthening of the asylum including legislative reform, refugee status determination, social assistance, judicial engagement, and the backlog project. There are more than 300 000 foreign nationals who have applied for refugee or asylum status but so far more than half are yet to be processed. Some applications go back as far as 2008 and yet people were just staying here without proper documentation.

Motsoaledi said South Africa has a challenge with people who are in the country illegally but does not have a problem with people who are legally seeking protection.


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Gillian Triggs Motsoaledi South Africa South African UN


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