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South Africa:Asylum Applications to be Processed more Efficiently
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, June 27, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Jun 27, 2013

With a view to ensuring South Africa is able to contribute to making the lives of refugees and asylum seekers more humane, Pandor said steps are being taken to process applications more efficiently and fairly.
“We are reviewing our procedures and implementing a fast track capacity to process application status,” she said.
“Furthermore, we are strengthening our partnerships with international organisations, including the UNHCR. This extends to finding durable solutions for refugees after a cessation has been declared by the United Nations and they are able to return to their homeland,” she said.
She said government is to liaise very closely with neighbouring countries as part of developing a regional response to asylum seeker and refugee management within the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Consistent with its intention over the last few years to highlight the plight of refugees, the UNHCR has declared the theme for 2013 as “1 family torn apart by war is too many.”
Pandor reaffirmed the centrality of the family unit as a building block of societies observing that “today there are more divided families than together families. One out of every two South African families lives without a father. Breaking it down further into ethnicity, 2 in 3 African families live without a father.”
With the aim of ensuring the social fabric of society of restored through the family unit, in South African families as well as those of asylum seekers, the minister committed government and its social partners to implementing a community diversity initiative throughout the country aimed at building communities of peace.
“We also hope to work closely with the UNHCR and relevant NGOs to find ways of encouraging integration and cooperation in all host communities.
“We hope we can persuade community leaders to create language teaching teams to help in learning local languages,” Pandor said.
Pandor said government also plan to develop orientation programmes and information to all participants on refugee and international human rights law.
“We hope to be able to teach the value of diversity the positive attributes of diverse communities,” she said.
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