Action needed to prevent unnecessary and prolonged detention of stateless persons in South Africa

In March, IDC member Lawyers for Human Rights launched a report and photographic exhibition on statelessness entitled Statelessness & Nationality in South Africa.

The aim was to increase awareness of the issue and its impact on the lives of many individuals, and to make clear recommendations about how to address this issue.

The report notes that stateless persons ‘can be arrested and detained repeatedly for purposes of deportation, but one may not be deportable and could spend a prolonged period in detention.’ 

Of the main recommendations within the report, it is recommended that there must be dedicated identification and protection system for stateless persons.

This recommendation is consistent with and reinforces the critical role of screening and assessment processes and procedures to prevent unnecessary immigration detention of all vulnerable groups, including stateless persons.