Cameroon

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

3,989

New asylum applications

2019

421,692

Refugees

2020

505,692

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

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:

ENFORCEMENT DATA

Total Detainees/ Stock & Flow (Year)
Not Available
2019
Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2017
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)
26,500,000
2020
23,344,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
505,692
2019
382,000
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
1.6
2015
Refugees (Year)
421,692
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
New Asylum Applications (Year)
3,989
2019
3,798
2016
9,102
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
84.3
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
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

B. Attitudes and Perceptions

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

GROUNDS FOR MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LENGTH OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

DETENTION MONITORS

TRANSPARENCY

READMISSION/RETURN/EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS

COVID-19

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 DATA

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1967
2017
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1971
2017
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1984
2017
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1984
2017
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1994
2017
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
1986
2017
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1993
2017
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1961
2017
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2006
2017
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
2006
2017
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 10/19
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
Observation Date
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1984
1984
2017
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2005
2005
2017
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 2000
2000
2017
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
3/6
2017

NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

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

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 1989
1989
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) 2012
2012
2017

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

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

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS