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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Theresa Alfaro-Velcamp

Asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants’ access to healthcare vary in South Africa and Cape Town due to unclear legal status. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on…

Abstract

Purpose

Asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants’ access to healthcare vary in South Africa and Cape Town due to unclear legal status. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the source of this variation, the divergence between the 1996 South African Constitution, the immigration laws, and regulations and to describe its harmful consequences.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on legal and ethnographic research, this paper documents the disjuncture between South African statutes and regulations and the South African Constitution regarding refugees and migrants’ access to healthcare. Research involved examining South African jurisprudence, the African Charter, and United Nations’ materials regarding rights to health and health care access, and speaking with civil society organizations and healthcare providers. These sources inform the description of the immigrant access to healthcare in Cape Town, South Africa.

Findings

Asylum-seekers and refugees are entitled to health and emergency care; however, hospital administrators require documentation (up-to-date permits) before care can be administered. Many immigrants – especially the undocumented – are often unable to obtain care because of a lack of papers or because of “progressive realization,” the notion that the state cannot presently afford to provide treatment in accordance with constitutional rights. These explanations have put healthcare providers in an untenable position of not being able to treat patients, including some who face fatal conditions.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by the fact that South African courts have not adjudicated a direct challenge to being refused care at healthcare facility on the basis of legal status. This limits the ability to know how rights afforded to “everyone” within the South African Constitution will be interpreted with respect to immigrants seeking healthcare. The research is also limited by the non-circulation of healthcare admissions policies among leading facilities in the Cape Town region where the case study is based.

Practical implications

Articulation of the disjuncture between the South African Constitution and the immigration laws and regulations allows stakeholders and decision-makers to reframe provincial and municipal policies about healthcare access in terms of constitutional rights and the practical limitations accommodated through progressive realization.

Social implications

In South Africa, immigration statutes and regulations are inconsistent and deemed unconstitutional with respect to the treatment of undocumented migrants. Hospital administrators are narrowly interpreting the laws to instruct healthcare providers on how to treat patients and whom they can treat. These practices need to stop. Access to healthcare must be structured to comport with the constitutional right afforded to everyone, and with progressive realization pursued through a non – discriminatory policy regarding vulnerable immigrants.

Originality/value

This paper presents a unique case study that combines legal and social science methods to explore a common and acute question of health care access. The case is novel and instructive insofar as South Africa has not established refugee camps in response to rising numbers of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants. South Africans thus confront a “first world” question of equitable access to healthcare within their African context and with limited resources in a climate of increasing xenophobia.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

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Article
Publication date: 13 October 2020

Musa Dauda Hassan and Dietmar Wolfram

The purpose of this study is to examine the information needs and seeking behaviors of African refugees in the Midwest United States. The research also investigates the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the information needs and seeking behaviors of African refugees in the Midwest United States. The research also investigates the sources participants consulted and their satisfaction with their information seeking and the information found.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research study recruited 18 African refugees to participate in one or more data collection modes used in the study (questionnaire, interview, focus group). The data were analyzed using qualitative open, axial and selective coding approaches to identify themes.

Findings

The analysis of the data collected provides evidence that refugees had specific information needs centered on housing, health care, employment and education. They were not necessarily satisfied with the information they were able to find. Participants reported initially relying heavily on their caseworkers as sources of information when they first arrived in the United States until they were able to establish larger networks of contacts, which then expanded their information behaviors.

Research limitations/implications

The number of participants and regional focus of the study do not allow for generalization of the findings to all African refugees in the United States. Still, the findings shed light on how to better serve the information needs of African refugees to help them adjust to life in their new environment.

Practical implications

The findings of the study provide guidance for agencies that assist African refugees in adjusting to life in the United States.

Originality/value

This study represents one of the few investigations of the information needs and seeking behaviors of African refugees in the United States.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 72 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 17 November 2011

Anais Tuepker, Linda Boise, Folashade Onadeko and Teresa Gipson

Aware that “those who aren't counted don't count” in health program planning, a community coalition, called African Partnership for Health, attempts a current estimate of…

Abstract

Purpose

Aware that “those who aren't counted don't count” in health program planning, a community coalition, called African Partnership for Health, attempts a current estimate of the African community living in Portland, Oregon, USA. This paper seeks to describe the findings.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper's definition of the “African community” was crucially informed by community participation in the research process. The authors drew on existing publicly available data sources to estimate the size of the target population and identified the strengths and weaknesses of each source.

Findings

Conservative estimations are of a 2010 African community population of 11,500‐15,500 for the Portland metropolitan area. No data source on its own would have resulted in this estimate.

Research limitations/implications

Areas for further research include creating practical systems to collect data on country of origin and to address an existing data bias towards refugees over immigrants. In the USA, more robust data collection systems are needed to estimate the impact of secondary migration on the size and characteristics of refugee and immigrant communities.

Practical implications

Health program planners should be aware that existing data may include more information about some groups (refugees as opposed to immigrants) and emphasize some characteristics (race as opposed to country of origin).

Originality/value

Including immigrant and refugee community members in the research process can result in more relevant definition of that community, which may lead to more effective program targeting and design.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Bernadette Ludwig and Holly Reed

– The purpose of this paper is to examine health issues among Liberian refugees living in Staten Island and access potential barriers to accessing healthcare.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine health issues among Liberian refugees living in Staten Island and access potential barriers to accessing healthcare.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative methods including interviews (n=68) with West African immigrants, predominantly Liberian refugees, and long-term ethnography were employed to elicit West Africans’ views on health, acculturation, and access to service providers. Framework analysis was employed to analyze the data thematically.

Findings

Chronic health diseases, depression, isolation, and inadequate access to healthcare were the main concerns of the population studied. The findings are in contrast to the public health experts’ concentration on infectious diseases.

Practical implications

The barriers to access proper healthcare have implications for healthcare providers and government institutions and information about these barriers can help them to refocus their health efforts to better address the needs of West African refugees.

Originality/value

Africans are among the newest immigrants in the USA and are considerably understudied compared to other groups such as Latin Americans and Asians. Additionally, there is an abundance research about refugees’ health status when they first arrive in the USA, but there is little data on their health after their resettlement.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Elavie Ndura

According to the U.S. Committee for Refugees (2002) there were approximately 15 million refugees in the world in 2001, of which over three million were African. Refugees

Abstract

According to the U.S. Committee for Refugees (2002) there were approximately 15 million refugees in the world in 2001, of which over three million were African. Refugees are persons who flee to a different country to escape persecution based on personal or group characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, social group, political opinion, or armed conflict, and lack of a durable solution (U.S. Committee for Refugees, 2001). For example, in Burundi, a small African country of about 6 million people, the civil war between the Tutsi and the Hutu has forced over half a million refugees to seek shelter in other African countries, Europe, and the United States (UNHCR, 2000).

Details

Suffer The Little Children
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-831-6

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2019

Sibylle Heilbrunn

In an extreme and intentional institutional void, African refugees in Israel are bricoleuring by building an entrepreneurship market next to an “open” detention camp. The…

Abstract

Purpose

In an extreme and intentional institutional void, African refugees in Israel are bricoleuring by building an entrepreneurship market next to an “open” detention camp. The purpose of this paper is to analyze how refugee entrepreneurs overcome institutional voids through bricolage in an illegal marketplace outside the detention camp.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to deal with the question of why and how people act entrepreneurial under extreme circumstances, the interpretive/social constructionist paradigm is applied in form of the multiple stories milieu case study pattern. Data were gathered via official reports, interviews and observations.

Findings

Outside the detention camp it is via bricolage that entrepreneurs address the economic detour in the intentional institutional void. At a place which is meant to make asylum seekers leave Israel by coining them “infiltrators” and by “making their lives miserable,” bricoleurs attend their own and the needs of fellow detainees providing goods and service and community space.

Originality/value

By contextualizing entrepreneurial practices, the paper contributes to the understanding of refugee entrepreneurship by demonstrating how refugees – within the pressure and constraints of context – initiate entrepreneurial activities. Theoretically the paper extends knowledge of minority entrepreneurs who are acting as bricoleurs, explaining how their entrepreneuring can be a kind of space creation process.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Book part
Publication date: 18 June 2020

Bhajan Chandra Barman

A refugee is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundary and who cannot return home safely. No one likes or chooses to be a refugee. Being a refugee

Abstract

A refugee is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundary and who cannot return home safely. No one likes or chooses to be a refugee. Being a refugee means more than being an alien. It means living in exile and depending on others for such basic needs as food, clothing and shelter. The problem of refugees is the problem of human rights involving a flow of people from places of denial to the regions of guarantee. Today refugee problem is one of the core problems all over the world. It is the most complicated issue. When refugees are hosted in the neighbouring countries, economic, social, political and environment impacts are created on these host countries. The main objective of this chapter is to analyze these impacts created by refugees on the developing host countries. From the moment of arrival, refugees may compete with local citizens for scarce resources such as water, food, housing and medical services. Their presence increases the demands for education, health services, infrastructure such as water supply, sanitation and transportation, and also in some cases, for natural resources such as grazing and firewood.

Details

Refugee Crises and Third-World Economies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-191-2

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2004

Mojúbàolú Olúfúnké Okome

Philanthropy takes many forms among African immigrant communities. It exists in the form of mutual aid for friends, extended family, lineage, and fictive kin. This last…

Abstract

Philanthropy takes many forms among African immigrant communities. It exists in the form of mutual aid for friends, extended family, lineage, and fictive kin. This last category includes, but is not limited to, those from an individual’s ethnic group, or even from their country of origin. Philanthropy is also to be found in the form of kindness and generosity toward strangers. Above all, elements of philanthropy are to be found in the corporatization of community-based efforts to develop the human and material resources among many African ethnic groups. Many studies of the process of urbanization in Africa indicate the ubiquity of formation of hometown organizations that perform social functions including philanthropy among newly urbanized Africans. These organizations assist urbanized home folk from the villages and the towns of origin from which these urbanized groups originally emerged in various respects. The assistance offered include giving material and moral support in times of significant social celebration and mourning, for education as well as for home construction, construction of infrastructure for the home community, and for various other community-based development efforts. The efforts of African immigrants in the United States and elsewhere closely follow the patterns described above. The patterns are so ubiquitous as to warrant a claim of their emergence from a philosophical orientation toward philanthropy in African society.

Details

Race and Ethnicity in New York City
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-149-1

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Linda Pasta, Enzo M. Farinella, Gaetano Marchese, Leonardo A. Mesa Suero, Nicolò D'Amico and Maria Giovanna Di Stefano

This paper's aim is to study North African refugees admitted to Sicilian hospitals from Lampedusa by helicopter emergency service 118, from 1 January to 22 September 2011…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper's aim is to study North African refugees admitted to Sicilian hospitals from Lampedusa by helicopter emergency service 118, from 1 January to 22 September 2011 when due to a violent uprising in the Refugee Centre, Lampedusa is no longer accepting refugees by order of the Ministry of Interior.

Design/methodology/approach

Those migrants who were in need of hospitalization were transferred to the Sicilian hospitals exclusively by the emergency helicopter service 118. All 203 patients were classified according to the admission diagnosis reported on medical records of 118 and data were aggregated according to: disease, sex and department in which hospitalization was required.

Findings

Women were admitted to hospital almost exclusively for obstetrics and gynecological problems, while men for trauma, severe dehydration, attempted suicide, infectious diseases (TB, airways distress, and scabies), seizures and metabolic diseases. Hospitalization rate was 20 times lower in African migrants than Italian population compared per age and sex, confirming “the healthy immigrant effect”.

Originality/value

The paper shows that identification of health problems requires a careful monitoring that has implications for diseases dissemination (i.e. TB, HIV) both for ill patients who arrive, either for prophylaxis of healthy migrants, pursuing a valid vaccination policy. Maximum use must be made of the moment of the arrival of migrants to get and disseminate health information.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 18 June 2020

Sourav Kumar Das, Kishor Naskar and Chandra Sekhar Sahu

Refugee can refer to movements of large groups of displaced people, who could be either internally displaced persons or other migrants. According to UN High Commissioner

Abstract

Refugee can refer to movements of large groups of displaced people, who could be either internally displaced persons or other migrants. According to UN High Commissioner Report for refugees (2017), 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide because of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violation alone. Now we are witnessing a massive shift of humanity unlike any seen before. A huge population around the world, which is equivalent to the entire population of the UK, is displaced from their homes. More than 23 million of them are from five places: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, the Lake Chad Basin and Somalia. And the astonishing figures are 11.5 million people in five years between 2011 and 2016 in Syria, 4 million displaced from 2013 in South Sudan, 3.8 million in Afghanistan, 2.3 million in Africa's Lake Chad basin and 1.6 million in Somalia. All of the above have the reasons either being unemployment, insecurity and political instability or civil war or droughtlike phenomena, all of which can be summarized as economic crisis. Most of the time, we do our research on the subject about the wake of the crisis, but nobody do the prefacing matter analysis. This chapter is mainly based on the secondary data of the World Bank and the UNHCR and various governments' official data. In this chapter, we are trying to identify the major parameters responsible for refugee generation and also we are analyzing the cause of these phenomena, whereas no research has been done yet about the era prefacing that crisis.

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