South Africa’s measures to combat child trafficking causing headache for global mobility

New regulations for parents and guardians taking children into South Africa are causing a headache not only for tourists, but also for HR departments and those on business assignments, according to global mobility experts Crown World Mobility.

South African ruling
The controversial regulations, designed to combat child trafficking, require adults to produce a birth certificate for any children travelling with them – and possibly a letter of authority from any absent parents – before being allowed to enter the country.The South African government has recently appointed a special committee to look in to the new Regulations, amid widespread criticism.However, the issue of child trafficking is clearly hugely important, as the Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom and Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba have openly disagreed over what the most appropriate solution should be.Ben Sookia, EMEA Immigration Manager at Crown World Mobility said, "The regulations were brought in for laudable reasons but have proved a major headache for those on global mobility programmes as well as for tourists."They also cause delays at airports all over the world for people traveling to South Africa."We anticipate there is a possibility the regulations will be amended in the coming months. But, until we obtain confirmation in writing from the Department of Home Affairs in South Africa, our advice is that all foreign nationals (and any person travelling to or from South Africa) should comply fully with the regulations."It is important that the HR departments inform employees of the new regulations and make sure that any person travelling to South Africa with children obtain all the relevant documents before travelling."The Regulations could prove particularly complicated for families of assignees wishing to visit.If both parents are not travelling together then a letter of consent from the absent parent may be required. Single parents may need to bring a court order confirming them as the legal guardian. Friends of the family bringing children to visit who are not their own face a long list of requirements, including an affidavit from the parents, copies of the parents' passports, contact details of the parents and the child's birth certificate."For a lot of people this could prove very complicated," said Sookia. "So it is important HR departments make families aware of the details as early as possible if a visit is being planned."The regulations call for an 'unabridged birth certificate' which is defined as one that contains the details of both the child's parents, including their marital status and whether they are the biological parents."Here is a full list of the Regulations currently in place:
  • Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child, an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child, copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child and the contacts details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
  • Where parents are travelling with a child, such parents must produce an unabridged birth certificate of the child reflecting the particulars of the parents of the child.
  • In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and consent in the form of an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the birth certificate of the child authorising him or her to enter or depart from South Africa with the child he or she is travelling with.
  • In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child.
  • In the case of one parent travelling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate.
  • Where a person is travelling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce, a copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child, an affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child, copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child and the contacts details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
  • Any unaccompanied minor shall produce, proof of consent from one or both of his or her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, in the form of a letter or affidavit for the child to travel into or depart from South Africa. A letter from the person who is to receive the child in South Africa, containing his or her residential address and contact details in South Africa where the child will be residing, a copy of the identity document or valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in South Africa.
For further information, visit www.crownworldmobility.com.For more Re:locate news and features about global mobility, click here and for more on immigration, click here.