JNB Roundtable: Migrant Children and the Right to Education, 23 March 2018
Held in Johannesburg at the Sacred Heart College, this Roundtable attracted more than 90 people, representing a cross section of stakeholders including the migrant community, educators, legal practitioners and an array of civil society groups working in the field of displaced persons. The event was co-hosted with Three2Six, a project of Sacred Heart College which provides educational possibilities for children of migrants who, for various reasons, fall between the cracks and cannot enter the normal educational stream. Prof Anne Skelton from the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Child Law spoke about the Constitutional obligations around education for all children irrespective of status, the national legislation and the interpretations given to contested clauses which all favour universal education. She mentioned creeping practices which seek to limit this right. Mr Colin Northmore, Head of Sacred Heart College, spoke about the history of the Three2Six Project, the gaps in education which it seeks to remedy and the quest of the school to use their resources in socially responsible and just ways. Mr Musa Emmanuel, a refugee community activist spoke about the bewildering array of obstacles which migrant parents face in accessing education for their children and the social pathologies that follow if children are not schooled. All the speakers challenged various stakeholders to intensify their advocacy attempts in this field.
L-R: Mr Colin Northmore; Fr Peter-John Pearson (Director, CPLO); Prof Anne Skelton; and Mr Musa Emmanual