Benin

Detains migrants or asylum seekers?

Unknown

Has laws regulating migration-related detention?

Unknown

Refugees

2,675

2023

Asylum Applications

6,588

2023

International Migrants

394,276

2020

Population

13,700,000

2023

Overview

Types of facilities used for migration-related detention
Administrative Ad Hoc Criminal Unknown

Related Reading

25 June 2021 – Benin

Benin, which as of 25 June 2021 had recorded more than 8,000 COVID-19 cases and 104 deaths, launched a national vaccination campaign in March 2021 with support from the COVAX Facility. However, it is unclear if migrants, refugees, or other non-citizens are included in the vaccination campaign or whether the country has taken any specific […]

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Volunteer Doctor Testing a New Prisoner for COVID-19, (UNDP, “Protéger les Droits des Détenus au Bénin,” 27 April 2021, https://tinyurl.com/4rfdjdv8)

26 May 2020 – Benin

There is little available information about the treatment of migrants or asylum seekers in enforcement procedures in Benin. Shortly after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, on 21 March 2020, visits to prisons were suspended. In early May, more than 400 inmates were released to limit the spread of the virus. At the prison in […]

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Last updated:

DETENTION STATISTICS

Total Migration Detainees (Entries + Remaining from previous year)
Not Available
2019

DETAINEE DATA

Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
0
2017

DETENTION CAPACITY

ALTERNATIVES TO DETENTION

ADDITIONAL ENFORCEMENT DATA

PRISON DATA

Criminal Prison Population (Year)
7,067
2014
6,908
2010
6,083
2008
5,834
2006
4,336
2002
4,961
2000
3,778
1997
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
67
2014
78
2010
74
2008
74
2006
62
2002
76
2000
62
1997

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
13,700,000
2023
12,100,000
2020
10,880,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
394,276
2020
390,112
2019
245,400
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
3.25
2020
2.3
2015
Refugees (Year)
2,675
2023
1,779
2022
1,736
2021
1,396
2020
1,238
2019
1,174
2018
1,061
2017
799
2016
530
2015
415
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
0.07
2016
0.04
2014
Asylum Applications (Year)
6,588
2023
1,460
2022
138
2019
327
2016
230
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
86.1
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2022
0
2016
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
903
2014
Remittances to the Country (in USD)
216
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
600.5
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
166 (Low)
2015

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Does the Country Detain People for Migration, Asylum, or Citizenship Reasons?
Unknown
2021
Does the Country Have Specific Laws that Provide for Migration-Related Detention?
Unknown
2023
Additional Legislation
Loi no. 86-012 du 26 Février 1986 Portant Régime des Etrangers en République Populaire du Bénin (1986)
1986
Legal Tradition(s)
Civil law
2017

GROUNDS FOR DETENTION

Criminal Penalties for Immigration-Related Violations
Yes (No)
1986

LENGTH OF DETENTION

DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

COSTS & OUTSOURCING

COVID-19 DATA

TRANSPARENCY

MONITORING

NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORING BODIES

NATIONAL PREVENTIVE MECHANISMS (OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO UN CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE)

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (NGOs)

GOVERNMENTAL MONITORING BODIES

INTERNATIONAL DETENTION MONITORING

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES & TREATY BODIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
ICRMW, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
2018
2018
ICPED, International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
2017
2018
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1990
2017
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1992
2017
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1992
2017
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
2001
2017
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1992
2017
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2012
2017
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
1992
2017
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
2004
2017
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2004
2017
CRSSP, Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons
2011
2017
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1962
2017
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1979
2017
OPCAT, Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2006
2006
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 15/19
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1992
1992
CRPD, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2012
2012
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
2/7
2017
Relevant Recommendations or Observations Issued by Treaty Bodies
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Committee against Torture § 15. The State party should ensure that national legislation regulating asylum and expulsion, and all mutual legal assistance agreements to which it is a party, expressly recognize its obligation not to expel, return ( “ refouler ” ) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture or ill-treatment. Refoulement decisions should be subject to judicial review on a case-by-case basis and should carry a right of appeal that has suspensive effect. The State party should also include in its next report to the Committee information on the number of persons expelled or extradited, specifying to which countries, the number of judicial decisions overruling or cancelling expulsion orders on the basis of the principle of non-refoulement, and any other relevant measures taken. 2019
2019

> UN Special Procedures

> UN Universal Periodic Review

Relevant Recommendations or Observations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2012
2017
No 2008
2017

> Global Compact for Migration (GCM)

GCM Resolution Endorsement
Observation Date
2018

> Global Compact on Refugees (GCR)

GCR Resolution Endorsement
Observation Date
2018

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Regional Legal Instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
Observation Date
ACHPR, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1986
1986
2017
ACRWC, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1997
1997
2017
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) 2005
2005
2017

HEALTH CARE PROVISION

HEALTH IMPACTS

COVID-19

Country Updates
Benin, which as of 25 June 2021 had recorded more than 8,000 COVID-19 cases and 104 deaths, launched a national vaccination campaign in March 2021 with support from the COVAX Facility. However, it is unclear if migrants, refugees, or other non-citizens are included in the vaccination campaign or whether the country has taken any specific measures to safeguard those populations. The GDP has been unable to establish the extent to which migration-related detention measures are used in Benin as part of immigration enforcement procedures. There is also no publicly available information concerning COVID-19 related measures taken for those in immigration or police custody. According to UNHCR data, in 2020, there were 1,401 refugees and 464 asylum seekers in the country and 1,238 refugees and 373 asylum-seekers in 2019. The country has ratified several international human rights treaties including the Convention against Torture; the Convention on the Rights of the Child and most recently in July 2018, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. In its concluding observations in 2019, the Committee against Torture recommended that the country: (a) “improve material conditions in all places of detention, ensuring that prisoners receive the medical care and medicines necessary for their health in a timely manner and without charge, have access to nutritional and sufficient food, and enjoy adequate sanitary conditions and sufficient bedding; (b) take measures to end prison overcrowding by making greater use of alternatives to detention.” The country took some measures to prevent COVID outbreaks in prisons, with assistance from non-governmental actors. In May 2020, a private foundation donated 130 boxes of face masks, 20 disinfectant sprays, 100 cans of bleach, 50 cans of soap, and 50 bottles of hydroalcoholic gel to the country’s prison administration. In addition, on 10 June 2020, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) gave Benin’s prison authority 110 hand-washing stations, 5,000 liters of bleach, 2,000 liters of hydroalcoholic gel and the ingredients necessary to make 30,000 liters of soap. The UNDP has estimated Benin’s prison occupancy rate as being as high as 170 percent capacity, which has helped lead to poor hygiene and a heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission. In October 2020, the UNDP deployed ten UN volunteers, including seven doctors and three psychologists, in Benin’s prisons to improve the quality of health services.
There is little available information about the treatment of migrants or asylum seekers in enforcement procedures in Benin. Shortly after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, on 21 March 2020, visits to prisons were suspended. In early May, more than 400 inmates were released to limit the spread of the virus. At the prison in the city of Natitingou, social distancing has been reportedly impossible to maintain due to overcrowding. All detainees have been requested to wear masks. Newly arrived individuals are quarantined, and are administered chloroquine for ten days.
Did the country release immigration detainees as a result of the pandemic?
Unknown
2021
Did the country use legal "alternatives to detention" as part of pandemic detention releases?
Unknown
2021
Did the country Temporarily Cease or Restrict Issuing Detention Orders?
Unknown
2021
Did the Country Adopt These Pandemic-Related Measures for People in Immigration Detention?
Unknown (Unknown) Unknown Unknown Unknown
2021
Did the Country Lock-Down Previously "Open" Reception Facilities, Shelters, Refugee Camps, or Other Forms of Accommodation for Migrant Workers or Other Non-Citizens?
Unknown
2021
Were cases of COVID-19 reported in immigration detention facilities or any other places used for immigration detention purposes?
Unknown
2021
Did the Country Cease or Restrict Deportations/Removals During any Period After the Onset of the Pandemic?
Unknown
2021
Did the Country Release People from Criminal Prisons During the Pandemic?
Yes
2020
Did Officials Blame Migrants, Asylum Seekers, or Refugees for the Spread of COVID-19?
Unknown
2021
Did the Country Restrict Access to Asylum Procedures?
Yes
2020
Did the Country Commence a National Vaccination Campaign?
Yes
2021
Were Populations of Concern Included/Excluded From the National Vaccination Campaign?
Unknown (Unknown) Unknown Unknown Unknown
2021