Family Reunification in South African Refugee Law: a Critical Appraisal

  • Jean Chrysostome Kanamugire North-West University
  • Melvin Leslie Mbao North-West University
Keywords: Family reunification, refugees, asylum seekers, marriages, refugee integration

Abstract

Family reunification and family unity are not provided for in international refugee law. During refugee flight, family members often separate due to the circumstances that force them to leave their country and seek asylum in another country. Spouses, as well as children, often find themselves in different countries. Refugees and asylum seekers need to reunite with their families to ensure their protection and well-being. Some refugees and asylum seekers experience challenges in marrying persons of their choice as the country of asylum may not facilitate the realisation of their family unity and family reunification.  In this paper, it is argued that South African law and state practice are inadequate in facilitating family reunions, hence it is submitted that there is a need for South African parliament to amend its laws in order to provide for family reunification and unity in refugee issues.

Author Biography

Melvin Leslie Mbao, North-West University

Research Professor, Faculty of Law, Mafikeng Campus, North-West University, South Africa.

He is a Co-author for this journal article

References

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Legislation
Births and Deaths Registration Act 51 of 1992
Civil Marriages Act 25 of 1961
Civil Union Act 17 of 2006
Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998
Refugee Regulations 2018 (27 December 2019)
Refugees Act 130 of 1998

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Centre for Child Law v Director – General: Department of Home Affairs and Others 2020 8 BCLR 1015 (ECG)
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African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, 1981
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Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1), of 8 June 1977
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948
Published
2021-03-19
Section
Studies and Articles