In This Review

Prohibited Persons: Abuse of Undocumented Migrants, Asylum Seekers, and Refugees in South Africa
Prohibited Persons: Abuse of Undocumented Migrants, Asylum Seekers, and Refugees in South Africa
By Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch, 1998, 236 pp

Although South Africa now boasts one of the world's most progressive constitutions, political pressures and rising xenophobia have stalled reform of the country's outdated (and often inhumane) laws on migrants and refugees. This careful study documents widespread violations of the rights of migrant workers -- 200,000 of whom were deported in 1997 -- and the abusive conditions that so-called illegal aliens encounter prior to deportation. The report offers sound recommendations for reform, although most are unlikely to be implemented until after South Africa's 1999 national elections -- if then.