Congo (Republic)

Detains migrants or asylum seekers?

Yes

Has laws regulating migration-related detention?

Yes

Refugees

42,172

2023

Asylum Applications

19,069

2023

International Migrants

387,606

2020

Population

6,100,000

2023

Overview

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

08 February 2021 – Congo (Republic)

According to UNHCR, as of mid-2020 the Republic of Congo (RoC)–which is facing the double threat of COVID-19 and Ebola–was hosting 43,656 refugees and asylum seekers and 304,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). Refugees and asylum seekers are primarily from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic, and Rwanda. On March 15, […]

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NHRC and UNDP Training Seminar in Brazzaville on 28 January 2021, (T. Bosley,
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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)
1,240
2014
1,400
2011
1,165
2008
1,550
2005
918
1993
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
27
2014
33
2011
31
2008
44
2005
38
1993

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
6,100,000
2023
5,500,000
2020
International Migrants (Year)
387,606
2020
963,833
2019
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
7.02
2020
Refugees (Year)
42,172
2023
40,765
2021
27,097
2020
25,668
2019
37,494
2018
48,512
2017
46,439
2016
44,955
2015
54,842
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
9.8
2016
Asylum Applications (Year)
19,069
2023
8,975
2019
2,360
2016
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2022
0
2016

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Does the Country Detain People for Migration, Asylum, or Citizenship Reasons?
Yes
2022
Yes
2009
Does the Country Have Specific Laws that Provide for Migration-Related Detention?
Yes
2023
Yes
2017
Detention-Related Legislation
Loi n° 29-2017 du 7 août 2017 modifiant et complétant certaines dispositions de la loi n° 23-96 du 6 juin 1996 fixant les conditions d’entrée, de séjour et de sortie des étrangers en République du Congo (2017)
2017
Legal Tradition(s)
Customary law
2017
Civil law
2017

GROUNDS FOR DETENTION

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
2017
2017
OPCRPD, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2014
2014
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2014
2014
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2003
2003
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1993
1993
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1988
1988
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1983
1983
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1983
1983
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1982
1982
PCRSR, Protocol to the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1970
1970
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1962
1962
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 11/19
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
CRPD, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2014
2014
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1983
1983
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
2/8
2017
Relevant Recommendations or Observations Issued by Treaty Bodies
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Committee on the Rights of the Child 71. § "71. The Committee calls on the State party to finalize and adopt the Refugee Bill with a view to ensuring a child rights-based approach to asylum and the determination of refugee status. It encourages the State party to subsequently take all necessary measures to guarantee the full implementation of the national law, in line with international human rights and refugee law, and refers the State party to its general comment No. 6 (2005) on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin. The Committee urges the State party to protect children, especially girls, against sexual abuse and other related incidents, to investigate cases of abuse fully and to prosecute and sentence the perpetrators of such crimes. It recommends that the State party take all the necessary measures to improve the living conditions of asylum - seeking and refugee children. It also encourages the State party to ratify the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness." 2014
2014
Committee against Torture 18. The Committee recommends that the State party: [...] (b) Continue, in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, its efforts to identify refugees and asylum seekers and to ensure their protection, in accordance with international law, by respecting, in particular, the principle of non-refoulement, including during specific police operations; (c) Ensure that the detention of asylum seekers and refugees is used only as a measure of last resort and, where necessary, for as short a period as possible; (d) Ensure that the legal safeguards are respected, in accordance with article 11 of the Convention; (e) Ensure that investigations are carried out effectively and that refugees and asylum seekers allegedly subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment by State or private actors, including victims of rape and domestic violence, have access to remedies, as set out by the Committee in its general comment No. 2 (2007) on the implementation of article 2 by States parties; [...] 2015
2015

> UN Special Procedures

> UN Universal Periodic Review

Relevant Recommendations or Observations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2009
2017
No 2014
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
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) 2011
2011
2017
ACRWC, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 2006
2006
2017
ACHPR, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1982
1982
2017

HEALTH CARE PROVISION

HEALTH IMPACTS

COVID-19

Country Updates
According to UNHCR, as of mid-2020 the Republic of Congo (RoC)--which is facing the double threat of COVID-19 and Ebola--was hosting 43,656 refugees and asylum seekers and 304,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). Refugees and asylum seekers are primarily from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Central African Republic, and Rwanda. On March 15, 2020, the first positive case of COVID-19 was reported. As of 31 January 2021, the RoC had recorded 7,887 cumulative COVID-19 cases and 117 deaths. The government’s COVID-19 response included the establishment of a State of Health Emergency on 31 March 2020 and nationwide lockdown measures from 1 April 2020, which included movement restrictions, curfews, and shutdowns of schools and non-essential businesses. UNHCR reported that asylum seekers and refugees faced difficulties coping with surging food prices and decreased business activity, depriving people of their incomes, as well as the geographic inaccessibility of COVID-19 testing sites. UNHCR’s health-related activities included: “[installing] 20 refugee housing units (RHUs) at the Bouemba site to serve as a reception centre for suspected COVID19 cases, equipping the facilities with beds, water supply and latrines. In Gamboma, UNHCR also supported the rehabilitation of the COVID-19 patients isolation site. Overall, UNHCR equipped and supported 8 health centres during the COVID-19 response, as well as established four isolation and quarantine centres, with room for a total of 60 patients. UNHCR also equipped an additional three isolation centres in areas hosting refugees and asylum-seekers.” The refugee agency also gave out core relief items and cash assistance to vulnerable populations. In September 2020, a meeting on preventing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in private places took place with the participation of civil society, humanitarian actors, the penitentiary, and doctors, amongst others. At the meeting, the Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture in Congo (ACAT) and its International Federation (FIACAT) called for improved conditions for prisoners in the country in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. They denounced the conditions in prisons, which include poor health, transport, drinking water, and electricity provision. The director general of the prison administration also conducted a presentation on the problems of managing the response to COVID-19, where he stated that as soon as positive cases were reported in the country, a crisis unit was set up as part of the strategy against the virus in prisons (maisons d’arrêt). He further claimed that no new detainees had been received in the prisons (maisons d’arrêt) and outlined the activities within the centres. These included employing detainees in making masks, the continued education and preparation for state exams, as well as the disinfection and fumigation of centres. On 28 January 2021, the RoC’s National Human Rights Commission and the UNDP held a seminar in which they launched a human rights monitoring platform, responsible for documenting and disseminating material on human rights, as well as training librarians and archivists. The president of the National Human Rights Commission said that the platform would serve the monitoring of recommendations made by the Universal Periodic Review, CEDAW and other international mechanisms for the protection of human rights. It is not yet clear to what extent this monitoring mechanism will seek to review the treatment of refugees and other vulnerable non-citizens in the country.
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?
Unknown
2021
Did the Country Commence a National Vaccination Campaign?
Yes
2021
Were Populations of Concern Included/Excluded From the National Vaccination Campaign?
Unknown (Included) Unknown Unknown Unknown
2021