Africa February Roundup

Regional: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission moves towards Biometric Identity Cards. The goal is improved migration data exchange and the advancement of free movement facilitation in the region.

Botswana: Botswana to ‘refurbish’ Dukwi Refugee Camp, including re-fencing to restrict the movement and business practices of detainees.

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Zambia: New research examines government efforts to control urban refugees in Lusaka, Zambia. Despite routine praise from the international community for accepting an overwhelming majority of asylum seekers from the region, this research argues that the often arbitrary practices of arrest, detention and imprisonment, fail to work effectively, and leave refugees “vulnerable, and their basic human rights open to violation”.

Tanzania: Over 100 migrants detained for over four months while trying to cross to South Africa, have been returned home after intervention from the International Organization for Migration.

Gambia: Concluding Observations from Gambia’s combined second and third report adopted by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) notes concern about the lack of provision of identification documentation for refugees born in the State, as well as concern for the lack of implementation of alternatives to detention for children.