Marilize Ackermann (Advocacy Officer, Scalabrini Centre) presented a research report entitled Foreign children in care in the Western Cape Province. The report was written in collaboration with Prof Julia Sloth-Nielsen. The report looked at the fact that migrant children made up 4% of children accommodated at CYCCs in the Western Cape. The main challenges these children face are linked to documentation. There is presently no registration mechanism in place to record the number or profile of unaccompanied or separated children. Minor children are not able to apply for asylum without the intervention of a social worker and the children’s court. Once they turned 18, they would run the risk of either be detained or deported.
While it is difficult to estimate a number, it is foreseen that many of the children will have no choice but to return to their country of origin once their placement order is no longer valid, since, given their circumstances, no immigration status is available to them in terms of the present legal framework.
L-R: Fr Peter-John Pearson (Director, CPLO) and Marilize Ackermann (Advocacy Officer, Scalabrini Centre)
L-R: Miranda Madikane (Director, Scalabrini Centre) and Prof Julia Sloth-Nielsen