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Publication Details

Reference
Parsley, Jennifer (2005) Displaced and discarded: the role of civil society organizations in promoting socio-economic rights for refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa. CCS Grant Report, 2005 : 1-53.

Summary
Despite a legal framework outlined in the Refugees Act No 130 1998 which entitles refugees to the socio economic rights in chapter 2 of the Constitution1, in practice these rights are difficult to access for a number of reasons.

Obstacles start with access to just administrative action and include limitations caused by corruption within the DHA, xenophobia, structural constraints within the economy and exclusion from government services. The paper explored the strategies being employed by refugee civil society organizations in promoting socio-economic rights for refugees and asylum seekers. The study identified four strategies being adopted by civil society organizations in attempts to enforce socio-economic rights. These include civil society organisations engaging in service provision to provide temporary relief to refugees and asylum seekers; lobbying and advocacy interventions; legal challenges and intracommunity support. There is little emphasis placed on protest actions or increasing linkages with other civil society organizations advocating for the expansion of rights for South Africans. Efforts at enforcing socio-economic rights are largely aimed at accessing the limited socioeconomic rights expounded in current legislation and particularly the right to just administrative action, rather than expanding rights to refugees and asylum seekers.

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