Cameroon

Detains migrants or asylum seekers?

Unknown

Has laws regulating migration-related detention?

Yes

Refugees

473,887

2022

Asylum Applications

9,247

2022

International Migrants

579,209

2020

Population

28,600,000

2023

Overview

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

11 September 2020 – Cameroon

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 […]

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Police Officers Standing in Front of Yaoundé Central Prison, (Africa 24,
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DETENTION STATISTICS

Total Migration Detainees: Flow + Stock (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)
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 (Year)
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 DATA

Population (Year)
28,600,000
2023
26,500,000
2020
23,344,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
579,209
2020
505,692
2019
382,000
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
2.18
2020
1.6
2015
Refugees (Year)
473,887
2022
457,269
2021
436,396
2020
406,259
2019
380,329
2018
337,388
2017
375,393
2016
342,973
2015
264,126
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
15.69
2016
11.6
2014
Asylum Applications (Year)
9,247
2022
3,989
2019
3,798
2016
9,102
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
84.3
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2022
0
2016
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

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

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

Does the Country Detain People for Migration, Asylum, or Citizenship Reasons?
Unknown
2022
Does the Country Have Specific Laws that Provide for Migration-Related Detention?
Yes
2023

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

Legal Tradition(s)
Customary law
2017
Common law
2017
Civil law
2017

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Additional Legislation
Loi n°97/012 du 10 Janvier 1997 relative aux conditions d'entrée, de séjour et de sortie des étrangers au Cameroun (1997)
1997

GROUNDS FOR MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

Criminal Penalties for Immigration-Related Violations
Yes (Yes)
1997

LENGTH OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

DETENTION MONITORS

> National human rights monitoring bodies

> National Preventive Mechanisms (Optional Protocol to UN Convetion against Torture)

> Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)

> Governmental monitoring bodies

> International detention monitoring

TRANSPARENCY

READMISSION/RETURN/EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS

COVID-19

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 DATA

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1961
2017
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
2006
2017
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2006
2017
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
1986
2017
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1994
2017
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1984
2017
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1984
2017
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1993
2017
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1971
2017
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1967
2017
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 10/19
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 2000
2000
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2005
2005
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1984
1984
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
3/6
2017
Relevant Recommendations Issued by Treaty Bodies
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination §18 The Committee requests the State party to take all necessary steps to enable refugees and asylum seekers to fully enjoy their economic and social rights, particularly their right to work. The Committee requests the State party to ensure that, when an inquiry is opened under article 8, paragraph 1, of the Act on the Status of Refugees, the detention of asylum seekers is used only as a last resort and, where it is used, for as short a period as possible, that asylum seekers are not put in the same detention cells as suspects, and that feasible alternatives to detention are explored. The Committee requests that the State party devote particular attention to the situation of refugee women and girls, who could experience double discrimination. 2014
2014
Committee on the Rights of the Child § 40. "While noting that conflict and instability in neighbouring countries have resulted in, collectively, over a half a million refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons arriving in Cameroon, mostly residing in the East, North, Far North and Adamaoua regions, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (see CRC/C/CMR/CO/2, para. 68) and further recommends that the State party: (a) Operationalize and adequately resource the Commission for Eligibility to the Status of Refugees, ensuring it implements child-friendly screening and registration procedures; (b) Ensure that the best interests of the child are a primary consideration in all decisions and agreements in relation to the transfer of any asylum-seeking or refugee children, that all returns are voluntary and that the principle of non- refoulement is upheld; (c) Develop comprehensive referral and case management frameworks for services to refugee and asylum-seeking children, particularly in the fields of physical and mental health services, education and the police and justice sectors, including the provision of free legal aid, particularly for unaccompanied and separated children; (d) Prevent the arbitrary detention of refugee and internally displaced children; (e) Consider acceding to the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness." 2017
2017
Committee on the Rights of the Child § 68. "The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen the protection and assistance of refugee children and: (a) Adopt as a matter of priority the implementing Decree of the five year old Status of Refugees Act; (b) Take the necessary measures, including allocation of adequate resources, to prevent and combat malnutrition among refugee children and ensure that they have adequate access to essential health services, education, sanitation and safe drinking water; (c) Adopt concrete measures to protect children residing in refugee camps, particularly girls, from any form of violence, including early marriage and sexual exploitation; (d) Implement effectively the UNHCR programme on sexual violence, prosecute and punish those responsible for violence against refugee children, and provide the victims with adequate psychological and recovery assistance; (e) Set up, in close cooperation with UNHCR and UNICEF, a consolidated data collection system for refugee children, disaggregated by age, sex and nationality, and provide adequate resources to this end." 2010
2010

NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Relevant Recommendations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2013
2017
No 2009
2017

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Regional Legal Instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
Observation Date
ACRWC, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1997
1997
2017
ACHPR, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1989
1989
2017
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) 2012
2012
2017

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS