In the Republic of
South Africa

Overview of the country

South Africa is a major destination for migrant children on the move from countries throughout Eastern and Southern Africa. According to latest Data of Migrant and Displaced Children in Africa, more than 642,000 migrant or displaced children currently live in South Africa, making it the country with the largest child migrant population on the continent. South Africa’s mixed movements includes refugees, asylum seekers, victims of trafficking, smuggled migrants and unaccompanied and separated minors.

Many refugee and migrant children experience ongoing violence and exploitation on their journey and many arrive in the country without parents or caregivers, while others arrive with parents or relatives and they are later separated. Currently, the care and protection of unaccompanied and separated migrant children is determined by the courts South Africa and these children are often placed in Child and Youth Care Centers (CYCC), or in temporary community-based foster care.

The lack of national data on the numbers of unaccompanied and separated migrant children prevents national authorities to fully plan for their care and protection. The data collected during the survey will be used by authorities and service providers to better support migrant children, including to identify options for alternate care and address the barriers that those children face such as accessing birth registration as well as education and health care services.

In this regard, PWC works to protect and advance the rights of mostly marginalised people in South Africa such as vulnerable refugee children and women. By saying so, we are advocating for their rights to ensure that all individuals are treated accordingly in the framework of international laws and conventions. In this regard, we are promoting equal access to education for all children in South Africa regardless of their origin by:

Facilitating registration of children, providing necessary support in order to access education such as: provision of school uniform, school shoes, school bags and stationery to destitute children. In addition, we work very closely with the Department of Education (Provincial and nationally) to increase the intake of girl children into mainstream education but also advocating for free education for all children in South Africa.