Refugee recognition regime country profile: South Africa

Caroline Nalule

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper

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This report examines South Africa’s refugee recognition regime which is typified by an individualised refugee status determination (RSD) system that sets it quite apart from other major refugee-hosting countries in Africa, whose major mode of refugee recognition is group-based. The report focuses on a twenty-year period (1998-2018) highlighting the various areas of contestation within the refugee
protection space and South Africa’s adherence to its obligations, under both domestic and international law. Although extensive work has been carried out regarding the quality of RSD process in South Africa, gaps are still evident with respect to the refugee recognition institutions and their relational dynamics and how this impacts the refugee recognition regime and refugee protection generally. The report is based on desk research and original fieldwork in South Africa among various elites working in the refugee protection area as well as refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa drawn from three nationalities: Somalis, Ethiopians and Congolese from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Original languageEnglish
PublisherHertie School
Number of pages53
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2023

Publication series

NameRefMig Working Papers Series
PublisherREF MIG Project

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY 4.0) International license. If cited or quoted, reference should be made to the full name of the author(s), editor(s), the title, the series and number, the year and the publisher.


  • Migration, Displacement and Belonging


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