Minister Gigaba: Immigrants entitled to humane treatment

JULY 2, 2016

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says people who are visiting or are in transit or living in a foreign country are entitled to protection and humane treatment by the host country.

“By virtue of their presence in a territory, they may also make various claims on the host state, thus destination countries are entitled to know who a prospective visitor is, their needs, circumstances and intentions before they enter a country’s territory,” the Minister said.

Speaking at the launch of the Green Paper on International Migration, Minister Gigaba said people can also become citizens of other countries through naturalisation.

“So when governments manage migration, they do so in the awareness that they are not merely considering entry of a temporary resident, but also a potential future citizen. The movement of people is a core issue of regional integration in Africa and other regions globally,” the Minister said.

Minister Gigaba said international migration is a critical issue economically because fundamentally, it is people who work, trade, spend and invest.

“In a globalised world of dynamic, interconnected economies, the ability to manage the flow of people is critical to economic competitiveness.

“Increasingly, the ability of a country to attract and facilitate the easy entry of tourists, business people, conference attendees, skilled workers and investors is a key component of economic competitiveness,” he said.

Minister Gigaba said Home Affairs is mandated to manage immigration to ensure security, promote development and fulfil international obligations.

“As part of our mandate, we are responsible for policy development on international migration, working in close consultation and partnership with sister government departments, the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs in Parliament and the Select Committee on Home Affairs in the National Council of Provinces,” he said.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, the new Green Paper must provide South Africa with the vision and policy tools to better manage international migration now and in the future. –