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SaVI associate to present at International Migration Conference 2018

7 Sep 2018 - 07:30

SaVI Associate, Laura Freeman, will be presenting at the UNESCO and The African Centre for Migration & Society(ACMS), Wits University's International Migration Conference 2018: Southern perspectives on migration. On 7 Septermber at 11am, she will be presenting under the theme Academia, Activism, and Policy Making: Ethics, Epistemology, and Political Economy. There she will be discussing "The policy-research gap: the South African government isn’t talking to experts about immigration, refugees and xenophobia, and vice versa"

ABSTRACT

The policy-research gap: the South African government isn’t talking to experts about immigration, refugees and xenophobia, and vice versa by Laura Freeman 
 
In South Africa, most prominently since 2015, the government’s primary responses to xenophobic attacks have been to: (i) deny xenophobia as a phenomenon in the country, and (ii) adopt increasingly restrictive immigration and refugee policies. These moves fly in the face of research and evidence on xenophobia and migration in South Africa; seemingly ignore calls from civil society actors on refugee and migrant affairs; go directly against public participation submissions made to government; and even circumvent binding recommendations made by Chapter 9 institutions. 
 
Given this state of affairs, this research aims to understand the levels of and reasons for this apparent disconnect between research, experts and civil society actors, on the one hand, and government on the other. This presentation will give results from an expert questionnaire sent to researchers and experts in the field, which asks about levels of engagement in policy processes. It is hoped this may spark further debate around the role of  researchers in policy formation and implementation; the current functioning of public participation processes; the responses of various government departments; and the levels and places of government that researchers should be targeting. 

The full programme for the conference can be found here.