Evaluating the extent to which illegal immigrants to Zambia can enjoy their human rights
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The study is concerned with establishing the extent to which illegal immigrants to Zambia can and are allowed to enjoy their human rights. Every human being, inclusive of an illegal immigrant, is entitled to enjoy human rights simply by being human, regardless of their immigration status in the country. It must be noted that human rights are not a provision of the law. Therefore, even if an individual violates the law, he or she is still entitled to enjoy human rights with qualified limitations. Illegal immigrants are therefore, entitled to continue enjoying their human rights, subject to certain limitations despite their immigration status. However, in practice illegal immigrants' enjoyment of human rights is limited due mainly to administrative limitations. The Immigration and Deportation Act No. 18 of 2010 (the Act) requires immigration officers to adopt a human rights based approach and culture in their duties to control immigrants. Despite this, the human rights and circumstances under which the enjoyment of human rights can be restricted under the Act are not clearly stated thereby giving room for Immigration Officers to abuse their authority. The abstract nature of the human rights provisions in the Act makes it difficult for illegal immigrants to challenge immigration officers for human rights violations. Nevertheless, certain programmes have been put in place to promote the rights of illegal immigrants, although they are inadequately explicit for the target group to invoke them when in need. Therefore, there is need for the clearly spelt out administrative programmes and comprehensive legal provisions of human rights in the immigration laws to enhance effective promotion of human rights enjoyment for illegal immigrants. The rights of illegal immigrants and restrictions thereof should clearly be spelt out in the immigration law for Officers to respect them.
- Law