Year: 2019

Working paper number:433

Author: Sikhanyiso Masuku

Unit: CSSR


There are several universal proclamations safeguarding the rights of individuals’ entitlements to nationality, citizenship, social protection etc. However, the global humanitarian situation of refugees suggests inconsistencies in the adoption of such tenets (the selective application of human rights codifications). This paper discusses some of the challenges that have hampered the availing of such social protection rights i.e. the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol. In Africa, continental resolutions (the 1969 OAU Convention), equally designed to extend social protection rights to refugees, have also succumbed to implementation gaps. The failure by African states to fully align their refugee policy frameworks within the scope of universal refugee laws is criticised in the paper as a source for refugees` vulnerability. As a panacea to such protection gaps, the paper interrogates the role of non-state players in helping governments adhere to the global guidelines on refugee rights (cross sectoral partnerships). Through the use of secondary data on refugee populaces, the content of human rights conventions and their subsequent adoption, the paper identifies barriers in the assumption of requisite frameworks. These barriers include technical loopholes, the contextual outdatedness of the proclamations as well as enforcement setbacks.

Publication file: WP433 Masuku.pdf