SCALABRINI CENTRE EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT FOR THE CENTRE FOR CHILD LAW AND LEGAL RESOURCES CENTRE – UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN MUST HAVE ACCESS TO EDUCATION
On Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 September 2019, the Makanda (Grahamstown) High Court will hear arguments in a case regarding the constitutionality of legislation that the Department of Education has been using to prevent undocumented children (both South African and non-national children) from accessing education.
Scalabrini Centre wishes to express its support for our civil society colleagues in this case. We often receive complaints and queries from migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees who have experienced barriers when trying to have their children registered at a school in South Africa. The right to basic education, as enshrined in South Africa’s Bill of Rights, is inherent to a child’s dignity and to having their best interests recognised. To deny this right, simply because the child does not have a birth certificate, is an egregious infringement of that right.
Many asylum seeker and refugee families are not able to access documentation for their children. Sometimes they are refused assistance when trying to register the birth of a child here in South Africa, including being refused a birth certificate, or being refused an identity number for that child. Without access to that documentation, they experience further difficulties, including registering the child at school or accessing health care for that child. A lack of documentation is something that should not be used to discriminate against a child and deny that child the ability to thrive, regardless of where they or their family is from.
Support the Centre for Child Law and Legal Resources Centre in this case. See their websites: and and follow them on Twitter (@UPChildLaw and @LRC_SouthAfrica) for press releases and updates on the case at it progresses.
Perceiving migration as an opportunity, SCCT is committed to alleviating poverty and promoting development in the Western Cape while fostering integration between migrants, refugees and South Africans. We provide different services including advocacy, welfare, employment assistance and outreach programmes. Read more at www.scalabrini.org.za.
Scalabrini is not directly involved in this case, it impacts on our clients.
For further information, contact Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org.