|dc.description.abstract||The 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees refers to the concept ‘forced
migrants’ as victims of coerced movement. In South Africa, the Refugee Act 130 of 1998
entitles all forced migrants the right to access education, employment and other social and
economic services. However, forced migrants in the country remain socially excluded and
continuously fall outside networks of controlled association. This study examines the
underlying barriers in the enactment of the Refugee Act 130 of 1998. The central focus is the
interplay between social exclusion and forced migrants failure to access their legal rights.
The study offers an exploratory examination of social exclusion (a predominantly Eurocentric
concept), within the context of the developing world while paying particular attention to the
effects of social exclusion against forced migrants. A case study approach was adopted in the
research along with an interpretive research paradigm. A non-probability sampling technique
(expert sampling and homogeneous sampling) was then used to select the study participants;
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) forced migrants and civil society members.
Participants were grouped to participate in the focus-group discussion (One FGD – eight
participants), two participated in the life history and three in the in-depth interviews.
The data was then analysed using thematic content analysis. Murphy’s theory of Social
Closure (monopolization and exclusion) underpinned the analysis of the study. The
multidimensionality of social exclusion, namely; the primary cultural as well as structural
agentive processes of exclusion were examined in the study. The findings from the study
show that a range of multidimensional factors influence the degree of social closure,
prejudice, opportunity hoarding and institutional biases confronting forced migrants. As a
result, Congolese forced migrants have been inhibited from accessing a host of legal
entitlements in the country. Poor collaboration between the state and civil society, inadequate
refugee rights education initiatives as well as bureaucratic challenges within the South
African refugee appeal system were identified in the study as contributing to these challenges.
The findings suggested how a capability based approach may facilitate forced migrants social inclusion, cohesion and their access to a spectrum of commodity bundles, civil rights and
other necessaries enshrined by law. This study therefore makes a significant contribution to
the body of knowledge by establishing the link between social exclusion and the deprivations
confronting forced migrant populations.||en_US