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South Africa's controversial new asylum form

JOHANNESBURG, 11 December 2014 (IRIN) - Refugee advocates in South Africa have reacted with dismay and skepticism to a planned revamp of the asylum application process which the government says is designed to distinguish economic migrants from people with a bona fide case for refugee status. full report

PRESS RELEASE: IRIN humanitarian news service to spin off from the UN

GENEVA, 20 November 2014 (IRIN) - After nearly 20 years as part of the United Nations, the humanitarian news service IRIN is spinning off to become an independent non-profit media venture, with the support of a major private donor full report

An ambitious plan to end statelessness

LONDON, 7 November 2014 (IRIN) - It is now 60 years since stateless people received recognition in international law, and the UN has two conventions (1954 and 1961) dedicated to their protection and the regularization of their situation. Yet an estimated 10 million people worldwide still suffer the problems and indignities of having no nationality. full report

South Africa's health system shuns asylum seekers

JOHANNESBURG, 31 October 2014 (IRIN) - When Elise M’s* 18-year-old daughter tried to kill herself with an overdose of pills last year, the ambulance that Elise called took them to nearby South Rand Hospital, in the Johannesburg suburb of Rosettenville. But nurses at the hospital refused to admit her. full report

South African move on child trafficking

JOHANNESBURG, 17 September 2014 (IRIN) - The announcement yesterday that parents would have another nine months to comply with new regulations for travelling into and out of South Africa with their children has been met with a collective sigh of relief. full report

How to boost food production in Africa

ADDIS ABABA, 15 September 2014 (IRIN) - Smallholder farmers, who hold over 80 percent of all farms in sub-Saharan Africa, are struggling to adapt to rapidly rising temperature and erratic rains, according to the 2014 Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR), released on 3 September in Addis Ababa. full report

Heavy health toll of South Africa’s coal-fired power plants

MASAKHANE, 8 September 2014 (IRIN) - South Africa’s dependence on coal to generate 85 percent of its electricity is taking a substantial toll on human health, according to environmental groups. A recent report from Greenpeace estimates that up to 2,700 premature deaths are caused every year by air pollution emissions from the country’s 16 coal-fired power plants. full report

South Africa opens space for traditional rulers to claim land

BABANANGO/JOHANNESBURG, 21 August 2014 (IRIN) - The pace of land reform in South Africa has long been criticized as too slow, but experts and black South Africans still awaiting restitution, fear that the recent reopening of the land claims process may not only delay outstanding claims further but could actually reverse the limited progress that has been made in restoring land to those dispossessed by Apartheid-era policies. full report

Analysis: Data to the people!

NEW YORK, 14 August 2014 (IRIN) - Protests against poor delivery of services such as water, toilets, health and education, have become such a ubiquitous part of the South African landscape they barely make the news: as the delivery problems continue, so do the protests, and the vicious cycle of creeping poverty and mounting frustration continues. full report

Breaking the poverty trap – the power of cash grants

NEW YORK, 10 July 2014 (IRIN) - A cash injection of as little as US$12 per month for an impoverished family could determine whether a child eats properly or goes to school or not. With cash transfer programmes around the world now having a profound impact on the lives of poor people, the debate is less about whether to implement them than how to do so. full report

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