SAfrica to review migrant laws to help Zimbabweans

The paper said that according to the department statistics, more than 70,000 Zimbabweans applied for asylum in South Africa in the first nine months of last year, compared to 10,000 over the same period in 2007.

SAfrica to review migrant laws to help Zimbabweans
South Africa's government will review its immigration policy to help the growing number of economic migrants from Zimbabwe coming in across the border, the Sunday Independent reported on Sunday.

The present laws make it difficult for migrants who are not facing political persecution to remain in South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs told the newspaper, and human rights groups have criticised the country for deporting Zimbabweans.

Eighty percent of Zimbabweans crossing the border are not eligible for refugee status under the Refugee Act, the department said.

The influx from Zimbabwe was also hampering the government's ability to process applications from other asylum seekers, some of whom might qualify for refugee protection, the department's spokeswoman Siobhan McCarthy told the newspaper.

"We are looking at reviewing this to accommodate economic migrants from the region," McCarthy said.

The paper said that according to the department statistics, more than 70,000 Zimbabweans applied for asylum in South Africa in the first nine months of last year, compared to 10,000 over the same period in 2007.

Zimbabweans have flooded into South Africa as the humanitarian crisis in their country has worsened amid hyperinflation, severe food, fuel and foreign currency shortages and a cholera outbreak which has killed more than 1,800 people.


Reuters
Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2009, 19:29
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