Publications


Urban health in Africa: A critical global public health priority

This paper argues that a focus on urban health in Africa is urgently required in order to support progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global and regional public health targets, including Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the new Urban Agenda, and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

After the handover: Exploring MSF’s role in the provision of health care to migrant farm workers in Musina, South Africa

Using qualitative methodology and a case study approach, this paper traces the development of the Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) mobile clinic programme in Musina, exploring the changing relationship between MSF and the state.

Mwangaza Mama

Read and download for free the Mwangaza Mama project e-book.

The globalisation of trafficking and its impact on the South African counter-trafficking legislation

In this article, the authors consider what influenced the development of South Africa’s 2013 Prevention and Combatting of Trafficking in Persons Act (TiP Act) as just one example of migration policy-making.

Sex work and condom use in Soweto, South Africa: a call for community-based interventions with clients

Despite public health interventions targeting sex workers in an attempt to increase condom use, HIV still remains a significant health issue for those involved in the sex industry in many countries. In this paper, the authors analyse data collected as part of an ethnographic study of sex work in Soweto, South Africa.

Urban Health in Johannesburg: Migration, Exclusion and Inequality

In this issue, insights into how migration and mobility are mediating health within an African urban context are brought together.

“We Fit in the Society by Force” Sex Work and Feminism in Africa

Drawing from two qualitative studies with two African sex worker groups in 2014 and 2015 — the South African movement of sex workers called Sisonke, and the African Sex Worker Alliance (ASWA) — this paper unpacks what it means to be an African sex worker feminist.

Transgender Refugees and the Imagined South Africa: Bodies over Borders and Borders over Bodies

This book tracks the conceptual journeying of the term ‘transgender’ from the Global North — where it originated — along with the physical embodied journeying of transgender asylum seekers from countries within Africa to South Africa and considers the interrelationships between the two.

Multisectoral (in)action: towards effective mainstreaming of HIV in public sector departments in South Africa

The authors of this paper reflect on progress made in mainstreaming HIV in non-health sector departments, exploring factors that have enabled and hindered the process.

Mapping Trends: Power imbalances and the circulation of information on sex work

maHp doctoral researcher Elsa Oliveira helps map the global and regional trends in information produced about sex work in an effort to shed light on these imbalances.

How Unpopular Policies are Made: Examples from South Africa, Singapore and Bangladesh

In this article the authors contribute to the emerging knowledge on migration policy-making in two ways. Firstly, they address the relative lack of research on the gendered nature of migration policy-making. Secondly, they contribute to understanding migration policymaking in postcolonial contexts.

Migration and health: a global public health research priority

Drawing on discussions with policy makers, research scholars, civil society, and United Nations agencies that attended the 2nd Global Consultation on Migration and Health – held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in February 2017 – the authors emphasize the urgent need for quality research on international and domestic (in-country) migration and health to support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘If this isn’t for my children, who is it for?’ Exploring experiences of structural violence among migrant mothers who sell sex in Johannesburg

This article examines the vulnerabilities and forms of structural violence experienced by migrant mothers who sell sex.

“Gender Refugees” in South Africa: The “Common-Sense” Paradox, in: Africa Spectrum

This article is the runner up for the UFS/AS Young African Scholars Award. Join us in congratulating maHp/ ACMS postdoctoral researcher B Camminga for this great achievement, along with their recent selection as one of the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans.

Labels, victims, and insecurity: an exploration of the lived realities of migrant women who sell sex in South Africa

Based on research work among cross-border migrant women who sell sex in South Africa, this paper examines the ways in which the label ‘victim’ of human trafficking ignores the complex realities of human mobility.

Connecting the Dots: Cultivating a Sustainable Interdisciplinary Discourse Around Migration, Urbanisation, and Health in Southern Africa

This chapter describes the authors’ experiences in connecting a group of emerging Southern African scholars around the inherently interdisciplinary field of migration, urbanisation and health.

[Re]-presenting knowledge: The coverage of xenophobia research in selected South African newspapers, 2008 -2013

This study explores the [re]-presentation of xenophobia research findings in two popular South African newspapers: the Mail & Guardian and the Sowetan from 2008 to 2013.

Repoliticizing international migration narratives? Critical reflections on the Civil Society Days of the Global Forum on Migration and Development

This paper draws on Pécoud’s international migration narratives (IMN) as an analytical framework to examine the Global Forum on Migration and Development’s Civil Society Days (GFMD-CSD).

“I’m not a feisty bitch, I’m a feminist!” Feminism in AWAKE! Women of Africa

Although being an African, a sex worker and a feminist are often considered to be incongruent identities, in certain embodiments they intersect and inform each other. This Profile highlights what feminism can learn from analysing sex workers’ rights activism among a group of Cape Town-based sex worker feminists called AWAKE! Women of Africa.

Sex Workers Organising for Change: Self-representation, community mobilisation, and working conditions (SA chapter)

In the South Africa chapter of this Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) report, maHp researcher and PhD candidate Ntokozo Yingwana documents how the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and national sex worker movement Sisonke deal with human trafficking in the sex industry.

Making Research and Building Knowledge with Communities: Examining Three Participatory Visual and Narrative Projects with Migrants Who Sell Sex in South Africa

In this chapter, maHp researchers Elsa Oliveira and Jo Vearey present and discuss three related participatory arts-based research projects conducted in partnership with Sisonke: the national sex worker movement in South Africa.

Implementing a multi-sectoral response to HIV: a case study of AIDS councils in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

This paper assesses the implementation of a multi-sectoral response to HIV in South Africa, through a case study of the Mpumalanga Province.

Metropolitan Nomads: A Journey through Joburg’s Little Mogadishu

Read and download for free the Metropolitan Nomads: A Journey through Joburg’s Little Mogadishu project book.

Metropolitan nomads: a journey through Jo’burg’s “little Mogadishu”

This article takes an intimate look at the everyday life of Somali migrants in Johannesburg, where collective stories of migration and survival interweave with individual desires and hopes of seeking a better life outside a country shattered by decades of internal conflict.

Routes, locations, and social imaginary: a comparative study of the on-going production of geographies in Somali forced migration

Drawing on the thresholds approach, a model that incorporates geography and mobility studies to understand migration from the perspective of migrants, this article examines the importance of location and route(s) in determining the journeys of Somali migrants.

Towards a migration-aware health system in South Africa: a strategic opportunity to address health inequity

This article provides an overview of the associations between migration and health in South Africa, and calls for the urgent development of ‘migration-aware’ health systems.

Negotiating the city: Exploring the intersecting vulnerabilities of non-national migrant mothers who sell sex in Johannesburg, South Africa

This article explores the intersecting vulnerabilities of non-national migrant mothers who sell sex in Johannesburg, South Africa – one of the most unequal cities in the world.

A global research agenda on migration, mobility, and health

This paper by the Members of the Researchers on Migration, Mobility and Health Group explores the five core areas in which action is needed to support the development of a global research agenda on migration, mobility, and health.

KNOW MY STORY

Hushke, S. (ed) (2017) KNOW MY STORY MoVE and ACMS: Johannesburg

Beyond the single story: creative research approaches with migrant sex workers in South Africa

This article shares insights into why we need to think differently about ways of doing research with marginalised migrant groups – including migrant sex workers in South Africa.

(Well)Being in the City: a focus on health and migration in Johannesburg

In this issue, insights into how migration and mobility are mediating health within an African urban context are brought together.The papers bring the voices of different urban migrant groups to the fore and provide fresh perspectives on approaches for exploring how to research and respond to migration, mobility, and urban health in southern Africa. Advocating for mixed method and multi-disciplinary approaches, the papers provide important contributions to multi-disciplinary thinking around complex social issues.

Giving Birth in a Foreign Land: Exploring the Maternal Healthcare Experiences of Zimbabwean Migrant Women Living in Johannesburg, South Africa

In order to inform future research, an exploratory study investigating the maternal healthcare and help-seeking experiences of migrant women living in inner-city Johannesburg was undertaken.

Asylum as a Form of Life: The Politics and Experience of Indeterminacy in South Africa

According to the United Nations, in 2003 South Africa had the highest number of asylum seekers worldwide. Based on interviews with applicants or former applicants to refugee status as well as officials, adjudicators and activists, the authors propose to analyze asylum as a form of life, rather than as bare life.

Urban Health in Johannesburg: Migration, Exclusion and Inequality

Cities of the global south—including Johannesburg—are associated with unplanned and unmanaged urban growth; poor urban governance (which is predominantly reactive rather than proactive); migration and mobility; and the resultant pressure on access to adequate services, including water, sanitation, housing, and healthcare.

Routes and Rites to the City: Mobility, Diversity and Religious Space in Johannesburg

This project is exploration of the ways religion and diverse forms of mobility have shaped post-apartheid Johannesburg, South Africa. It analyses transnational and local migration in contemporary and historical perspective, along with movements of commodities, ideas, sounds and colours within the city.

‘If this isn’t for my children, who is it for?’ Exploring experiences of structural violence among migrant mothers who sell sex in Johannesburg

This paper examines the vulnerabilities and forms of structural violence experienced by migrant mothers who sell sex in Johannesburg. It argues that to develop a greater understanding of this group of migrant mothers there is a need to further explore the challenges that they face as well as the multiple roles negotiated in everyday life.

Researching violence with children: experiences and lessons from the UK and South Africa

The impact of violence on children’s health and development has had growing attention in global and national politics. This article highlights key messages and learning points from the experiences of researchers who have worked with children and violence across the different contexts of the UK and South Africa.

In the Shadow of a State: Self-Settlement Strategies and Informal Governance Amongst Somalis in Johannesburg

This article explores the role of informal governance and institutions in the self-settlement strategies of Somalis in South Africa.

Exploring The Migration Profiles of Primary Healthcare Users in South Africa

South Africa’s public healthcare system responses seldom engage with migration. This exploratory study investigates migration profiles and experiences of primary healthcare (PHC) users.

Queer Crossings

Oliveira, E., Meyers, S. and Vearey, J. (eds) (2016) Queer Crossings.  MoVE and ACMS: Johannesburg About the Author Latest PostsAbout Elsa OliveiraElsa Oliveira is a researcher and PhD student at the African Centre for Migration and Society. Since 2010, Elsa has been involved in a range of research projects that makes use of participatory visual and narrative methods. These projects aim to engage in research that explores the lived experiences of multiple migrant groups, with a specific focus on issues of sexuality and migration. Elsa

The Sex Worker Zine Project

Oliveira, E. and Vearey, J. (eds) (2016) The Sex Worker Zine Project. MoVE and ACMS: Johannesburg About the Author Latest PostsAbout Elsa OliveiraElsa Oliveira is a researcher and PhD student at the African Centre for Migration and Society. Since 2010, Elsa has been involved in a range of research projects that makes use of participatory visual and narrative methods. These projects aim to engage in research that explores the lived experiences of multiple migrant groups, with a specific focus on issues of sexuality and migration.

Izwi Lethu

Schuler, G., Oliveira, E. and Vearey, J. (eds) (2016) Izwi Lethu. MoVE and ACMS: Johannesburg. About the Author Latest PostsAbout Greta SchulerGreta Schuler is a PhD candidate in creative writing and a doctoral fellow at the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS). Her dissertation focuses on the lives of migrant sex workers in Johannesburg.With ACMS’s MoVE project, Greta is facilitating creative writing workshops with sex workers and running the Gauteng sex worker newsletter, Izwi Lethu: Our Voice. Greta’s short stories and essays have appeared

Migration and sex work in South Africa: key concerns for gender and health

Richter, M. and Vearey, J.  (2016) Migration and sex work in South Africa:  key concerns for gender and health.  In: Gideon, J. (ed) Gender and Health Handbook. Edward Elgar Publishing: UK About the Author Latest PostsAbout Jo VeareyJo Vearey is an Associate Professor with the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand. She holds an Honorary Fellowship with the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, and a Senior Fellowship at the Centre for Peace, Development and Democracy

‘Know me! But, remember that this is only part of who I am’: a participatory photo research project with migrant women sex workers in inner-city Johannesburg, South Africa

Oliveira, E. and Vearey, J. (2016) ‘Know me! But, remember that this is only part of who I am’: a participatory photo research project with migrant women sex workers in inner-city Johannesburg, South Africa.  In: Arnold, M. and Meskimmon, M.  (eds) Homeland:  Migration, Women, Citizenship. Liverpool University Press: Liverpool About the Author Latest PostsAbout Elsa OliveiraElsa Oliveira is a researcher and PhD student at the African Centre for Migration and Society. Since 2010, Elsa has been involved in a range of research projects that makes

Mobility, migration and generalised HIV epidemics: a focus on sub-Saharan Africa

Vearey, J. (2016) Mobility, migration and generalised HIV epidemics: a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. In: Thomas, F. (ed) Handbook of Migration and Health. Edward Elgar Publishing: UK About the Author Latest PostsAbout Jo VeareyJo Vearey is an Associate Professor with the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand. She holds an Honorary Fellowship with the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, and a Senior Fellowship at the Centre for Peace, Development and Democracy at the University of

Crossing the Borders of Humanitarianism: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Inner-City Johannesburg

This paper is an account of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Brussel’s projects in Johannesburg from 2007 to 2013, drawing on the ethnographic research of an external researcher (Wilhelm-Solomon) and MSF health worker and project leader (Pedersen).

Decoding dispossession: Eviction and urban regeneration in Johannesburg’s dark buildings

In January 2012 the residents of an inner-city tenement building in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, were evicted on a court order. This paper documents how a group of blind Zimbabweans experienced threats of violence and accusations of betrayal, as they were offered alternate accommodation by the evicting company because of their disability.

Understanding healthcare and population mobility in southern Africa: The case of South Africa

Migration provides opportunities for health and economic benefits, and has the potential to positively and negatively affect health systems. This paper outlines the authors’ current research and existing responses to migration and health in southern Africa.

Selling Sex, Mothering and “Keeping Well” in the City: Reflecting on the Everyday Experiences of Cross-Border Migrant Women Who Sell Sex in Johannesburg

Drawing from interviews with non-national or cross-border migrant women who sell sex on a regular basis, this paper explores experiences of selling sex, motherhood and ‘keeping well’ through the lens of the city.

Research ethics in practice: lessons from studies exploring interpersonal violence in different contexts

Studies researching interpersonal violence (IPV) are associated with a range of ethical challenges. In this article, lessons are drawn from three case studies exploring the experiences of different groups of survivors and perpetrators…

“At Your Own Risk”: Narratives of Migrant Sex Workers in Johannesburg

Existing evidence indicates that cross-border migrant women sex workers in South Africa are often marginalized by state and non-state actors professing to assist them. Trafficking discourses frequently conflate migrant sex workers with…

Sex work and South Africa’s health system: Addressing the needs of the underserved

Sex work remains illegal and highly stigmatised in South Africa, resulting in sex workers – the majority of whom are internal or cross-border migrants – experiencing ongoing human rights violations and a high HIV burden.

Empowering, invasive or a little bit of both? A reflection on the use of visual and narrative methods in research with migrant sex workers in South Africa

In this article, the author presents and discusses three participatory visual and narrative research projects that have been conducted with migrant men, women and transgender persons who sell sex in two provinces of South Africa and examine the suitability of these approaches.

I am more than just a sex worker but you have to also know that I sell sex and it’s okay: Lived Experiences of Migrant Sex Workers in Inner-City Johannesburg, South Africa

A perceived opportunity for improved livelihoods has made Johannesburg a target destination for many internal migrants moving within the borders of South Africa, as well as for cross-border migrants from around the continent and beyond.

Cultural Causations and Expressions of Distress: a Caste Study of Buufis Amongst Somalis in Johannesburg

Buufis is a well-known concept among Somalis at home and in the diaspora, although its meaning shifts across time and space. Literally meaning ‘to blow, or inflate’ in Somali, buufis initially referred to the dream of resettlement among Somalis in refugee camps in Kenya in the early 1990s…

Son of the Soil… Daughters of the Land

South Africa’s Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Freedom Charter are globally ground-breaking for providing provisions of non-discrimination, and, of particular note, on the basis of sexual orientation.