Forced Migration Studies Programme FMSP

Based in Johannesburg, the Forced Migration Studies Programme (FMSP) is an internationally engaged; Africa-oriented and Africa-based centre of excellence for research and teaching that helps shape global discourse on migration; aid and social transformation. (Homepage).

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Address: Forced Migration Studies Programme, School of Social Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, P. O. Box 76, Wits 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa;

Reports: Migrant Mobilisation: Structure and Strategies in Claiming Rights in South Africa and Nairobi, by Zaheera Jinnah with Rio Holaday, November, 2009 …  Download the whole report: 47 pdf-pages.  This report documents individual and collective mobilisation for migrants’ rights in South Africa and Nairobi and contains six sections. After a short introduction, section two reviews the literature on migrant mobilisation. Access to resources, social networks and political opportunities all play a key role in migrant mobilisation. In South Africa, there appear to be benefits in not mobilising, which include not being deported and not having reciprocal responsibilities which come with rights. Though South Africa has an active civil society sector, migrant issues do not occupy a visible part of the national agenda with the exception of a number of litigation cases on behalf of refugees. Furthermore, there is a key gap in national level advocacy-oriented organisations. The third section presents the findings of individual mobilisation amongst migrants in South Africa. Migrants are generally not mobilising for rights citing lack of documentation, discrimination and language barriers as key obstacles to claiming rights. Migrants also have minimal interaction with state institutions, NGO’s and migrant-led organisations. The fourth section discusses collective mobilisation in South Africa. Most organisations fall into four categories; international agencies and non governmental organisations (NGO’s), national South African led NGO’s, smaller migrant-led NGO’s and community based organisations (CBO’s) and faith based organisations (FBO’s), with differing levels of resources, target groups and mandates. Almost all organisations do not have a clear mobilisation strategy or target citing limited funding for migrant related work, language problems, lack of resources and insufficient platforms for mobilising as key reasons for not mobilising. Collaboration in the migrant sector is limited; a lack of trust between the stakeholders and an unclear role of the state and international agencies has created a fragile and fragmented sector. The fifth section presents selected findings of individual and collective mobilisation from Nairobi. Similar to the South African study, most migrants have minimal trust in and reliance on institutions and organisations. Collectively, most organisations have a different understanding of mobilisation and have limited resources to mobilise. Most of the organisations’ work is limited to the refugee camps, hindering the integration of migrants’ rights within a broader discourse on development and human rights. (The report).

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