Cameroon

No Data

Immigration detainees

No Data

Detained children

380,329

Refugees

2018

505,692

International migrants

2019

26,500,000

Population

2020

Overview

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

Related Reading

11 September 2020

Police Officers Standing in Front of Yaoundé Central Prison, (Africa 24,
Police Officers Standing in Front of Yaoundé Central Prison, (Africa 24, "Cameroon, Prévention du Covid en Milieu Carcéral," Youtube, Africa 24, 20 June 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jOlWWu97zk&ab_channel=Africa24

A critical humanitarian concern in Cameroon is its growing population of internally displaced people (IDPs), which according to UNHCR has increased substantially in recent months because of violence in northern parts of the country. As of mid-2020 there were nearly one million IDPs in the country, in addition to the more than 400,000 refugees. But there appears to be little updated information about the impact of Covid-19 on these populations. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 17 refugees in Cameroon had tested positive for the disease as of 26 August, the latest 7 cases reported following a voluntary screening campaign “carried out by the regional delegation of public health of the East region from the 10 to 16 August” (OCHA, “Cameroon: Covid-19 Emergency,” Situation Report No. 06).

The pandemic is having an important impact on the movements into and across the country. In late March, for instance, growing fears about the spread of the coronavirus spurred thousands of IDPs located in camps in the west of the country to flee to other areas in the south and the north. In the meantime, the country has been blocking people from entering the country from Chad and the Central African Republic. Preventive measures including hand washing and temperature measurements were also implemented at border crossings, according to UNHCR.

UNHCR reported that the country was setting up 40 Refugee Housing Units to facilitate the provision of isolation and quarantine facilities in the East and Adamawa regions. A 14 day quarantine has been made compulsory for all refugees and migrants coming into the country to refugee camps and systematic controls of all new arrivals are made including temperature checks and medical assessments.

There have also been concerns about the impact of the pandemic in prisons. In March 2020, Human Rights Watch reported that local NGOs have decried overcrowding in the country’s prisons and the lack of sanitary measures and distancing. Two months later, the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CL2P) revealed that many prisoners had already tested positive. The NGO warned that due to the lack of testing, this number was expected to rise. The Yaoundé prison, which has a population of more than 5,000 prisoners, has been particularly affected by the pandemic. In mid-April, following the death of several prisoners, a protest erupted at the prison. On 20 June, the Ministry of Justice said that 7,000 prisoners had been released since the start of the pandemic. Some 44 percent of those released tested positive for Covid-19, but it is unclear whether they were quarantined following their release.


Last updated:

IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION-RELATED STATISTICS

Criminal prison population
27,997
2016
24,000
2011
23,368
2009
22,062
2006
20,000
2002
15,903
1997
18,230
1993
Percentage of foreign prisoners
3.1
2014
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
115
2016
112
2011
115
2009
117
2006
119
2002
108
1997
136
1993
Population
26,500,000
2020
23,344,000
2015
International migrants
505,692
2019
382,000
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
1.6
2015
Refugees
380,329
2018
337,388
2017
375,393
2016
342,973
2015
264,126
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
15.69
2016
11.6
2014
Total number of new asylum applications
3,798
2016
9,102
2014
Refugee recognition rate
84.3
2014
Stateless persons
0
2016
0
2015
Total number of immigration detainees by year
Number of immigration detainees on a given day
Top nationalities of detainees
Number of persons granted alternatives to immigration detention
Number of detained asylum seekers
Total number of detained minors
Number of detained unaccompanied minors
Number of detained accompanied minors
Number of detained stateless persons
Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population
Estimated total immigration detention capacity
Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres
Number of immigration offices
Number of transit facilities
Number of criminal facilities
Number of ad hoc facilities
Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
Number of deportations/forced returns only
Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures
Estimated number of undocumented migrants

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
1,407
2014
Remittances to the country
251
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
852.3
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
153 (Low)
2015
Remittances from the country
Unemployment rate amongst migrants
Detention for deterrence
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
Immigration Index Score
World Bank Rule of Law Index
Domestic Opinion Polls on Immigration

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2017
Common law
2017
Customary law
2017
Constitutional guarantees?
Core pieces of national legislation
Additional legislation
Regulations, standards, guidelines
Immigration-status-related grounds
Non-immigration-status-related grounds providing for administrative detention in immigration legislation.
Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations?
Grounds for criminal immigration-related detention/incarceration and maximum potential duration of incarceration
Has the country decriminalized immigration-related violations?
Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law.
Longest recorded instance of immigration detention.
Maximum length of time in custody prior to issuance of a detention order
Average length of detention
Maximum length of detention for asylum-seekers
Maximum length of detention for persons detained upon arrival at ports of entry
Provision of basic procedural standards
Types of non-custodial measures
Impact of alternatives
Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice?
Mandatory detention
Expedited/fast track removal
Re-entry ban

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1984
1984
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2005
2005
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 2000
2000
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
3/6
2017
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
ACHPR, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1989
1989
ACRWC, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1997
1997
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) 2012
2012
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2009
2017
No 2013
2017
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
International treaty reservations
Treaty bodies decisions on individual complaints
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies
Regional treaty reservations
Regional judicial decisions on individual complaints
Recommendations issued by regional human rights mechanisms
Bilateral/multilateral agreements linked to readmission
Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council
Relevant recommendations by UN Special Procedures

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS

Federal or centralized governing system
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority
Custodial authority
Apprehending authorities
Detention Facility Management
Formally designated detention estate?
Types of detention facilities used in practice
Authorized monitoring institutions
Is the national human rights institution (NHRI) recognized as independent?
Does NHRI carry out visits?
Does NHRI have capacity to receive complaints?
Does NHRI publicly release reports on immigration detention?
Does national preventive mechanism (NPM) carry out visits?
Does NPM have capacity to receive complaints?
Does NPM publicly release reports on immigration detention?
Do NGOs carry out visits?
NGO capacity to receive complaints?
Do NGOs publish reports on immigration detention?
Do parliamentary organs carry out visits?
Do parliamentary organs have capacity to receive complaints?
Do parliamentary organs publicly report on their detention findings?
Do internal inspection agencies (IIAs) carry out visits?
Do IIAs have capacity to receive complaints?
Do IIAs publicly report their findings from detention inspections?
Do international and/or regional bodies (IRBs) visit immigration-related detention facilities?
Do IRBs publicly report their findings from inspections?
Types of privatisation/outsourcing
Detention contractors and other non-state entities
Estimated annual budget for detention operations
Estimated annual budgets for particular detention-related activities
Estimated cost per detainees day (in USD)
Estimated annual budget for non-custodial measures (in USD)
Estimated costs of non-custodial measures (in USD)
Does the country receive external sources of funding?
Description of foreign assistance