Articles by admin

Refugees Digest 29

In the first weeks of July, 180 civil society organizations found agreement on some of the principles that should frame the Global Compact on Migration. This agreement came ahead of the sixth and final round of talks on the Compact, which took place in New York. The protection of children, family unification, and a plea to enhance processes of integration, featured strongly in this agreement. From a policy perspective these principles speak to the core of human rights-based policies.

BP 458: Lawfare

Are South African political actors too quick to ask the country’s judges to referee their disputes? Ordinarily, in a stable and orderly democracy, it is highly desirable that people, and the parties and factions that they constitute, should ‘go the legal route’ rather than settle their differences by force, or bribery, or by any of the myriad other underhand methods that are typically associated with the world of politics.

Response: Civil Society & The Global Compact on Migration

On 9th July, 180 civil society groups active in the field of migration issued a joint statement ahead of the sixth and final round of discussions on the Global Compact on Migration (GCM), due to take place in New York. This followed 18 months of negotiation stressing the need for states to adopt a comprehensive approach to human mobility and for enhanced co-operation globally. It is interesting to note that the bulk of the issues raised in the statement by the 180 organisations have a strong resonance with the official Roman Catholic position.

Refugees Digest 28

Recently Pope Francis said, “We should promote the integral human development of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.” A number of the articles in this Digest spell out the implications of this challenge. So far this year, approximately 30 000 people attempted to reach Europe by sea. 771 have drowned in the process.

Submission on Proposed Amendments to the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act

Although the Catholic Church, along with most mainstream Christian denominations, does not embrace the practice of polygamous marriage, we fully recognize that it is a common form of marriage in our country. Furthermore, we have long been aware that aspects of polygamous marriages discriminate unfairly against women. This has now been highlighted by the judgment of the Constitutional Court which has prompted the current amendments.

Response: The Higher Education Budget

On 17th May 2018, Minister Naledi Pandor delivered the Budget for the Department of Higher Education.
She prefaced her remarks by underlining three important imperatives that have shaped this budget. Firstly, the impact of the #feesmustfall and the decolonisation of higher education protests over the past three years; secondly, the need to produce skilled graduates well able to play a role in knowledge creation in different spheres, and thus contribute to inclusive economic growth; and thirdly, the increasing focus on the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ and its implications for the business and education sectors.

Family Digest 19

On Friday, 25th May, the people of Ireland voted in a historic referendum on whether or not to repeal a constitutional clause protecting the rights of the unborn. Voters were asked if they wanted to repeal the 8th Amendment of the Constitution, which recognises the equal right to life of mother and unborn child.

Refugees Digest 27

On 23rd April Pope Francis said very forthrightly: “I think of the abomination of human trafficking, crimes and abuses against minors, the horror of slavery still present in many parts of the world; the frequently overlooked tragedy of migrants, who are often victims of disgraceful and illegal manipulation.”