No detention centre mapping data


Djibouti Immigration Detention

Djibouti serves as a major transit country for migrants from the Horn of Africa travelling to the Arabian Peninsula. Many of these migrants depart from the area surrounding the port town of Obock or from remote coastal areas. To reduce the flow of migrants, authorities regularly round up and arrest migrants travelling through the country without proper documentation. Rights groups have expressed particular concern about the situation of detained minors, many of whom claim to have been physically and sexually abused while in police custody.

Quick Facts


International migrants (2015): 112,400
New asylum applications (2016): 5,421

Profile Updated: August 2016

Djibouti Immigration Detention Profile

Djibouti plays an important role as a transit country for migrants from the Horn of Africa travelling to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf States, with an estimated 34,237 migrants arriving in Yemen via Djibouti during the first 10 months of 2014. In an effort to reduce this flow of migrants, authorities in Djibouti regularly round up and arrest migrants travelling through the country without proper documentation.[1]

Djibouti’s efforts to slow the flow of transit migrants include patrolling the coastline and intercepting migrants found at sea. In 2012, approximately 3,533 migrants were intercepted as they were making their way to Yemen. These intercepted migrants are reportedly returned to Djibouti, where they are sent to detention facilities to await deportation.

In addition to being a transit country, Djibouti serves as a destination country for refugees and migrants from surrounding countries. In the Ali Addeh and Hol Hol refugee camps, Djibouti hosts roughly 21,000 refugees.

The Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat reports that during the course of 2013, Djibouti detained and deported significant numbers of migrants. While these migrants were generally given the opportunity to claim refugee status, the National Eligibility Commission had not met in years to undertake status determination procedures. When the Commission resumed its work in August 2013, there was a serious backlog of individuals at risk of being deported. Those migrants who did not claim refugee status were generally deported.

Detained migrants in Djibouti appear to be held mainly in two locations, the Coast Guard base in the port town of Obock and the Nagad Detention Centre near Djibouti City. Although conditions at the Nagad detention centre have been described as poor, detainees reportedly have access to potable water, food, and medical treatment. Foreign embassies and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) reportedly have access to the Nagad facility, and Djiboutian authorities have allowed ICRC representatives to visit the detention centre on a quarterly basis. Although most detainees are reportedly deported within 24 hours of arrest, there has been at least one situation in which hundreds of refugees were detained in the Nagad Detention Centre for more than five years.

A particularly important aspect of Djibouti’s migrant detention practices is its detention of children. Many children intend to travel through Djibouti to the Gulf States, but become stranded in the country due to their inability to afford the trip across the Gulf of Aden. These migrant children are frequently arrested and detain by Djiboutian authorities. While in detention, children are placed in overcrowded cells with other detainees, receive irregular and inadequate meals, and face a lack of sanitary services. There have also been reports of abusive behaviour by officials, including sexual abuse by detention centre guards.

 

[1] This summary relies primarily on information gleaned from the U.S. State Department’s human rights reports and reports from the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, in particular its February 2015 report Behind Bars: The Detention of Migrants in and from the East & Horn of Africa, available at http://www.regionalmms.org/fileadmin/content/rmms_publications/Behind_Bars_the_detention_of_migrants_in_and_from_the_East___Horn_of_Africa_2.pdf

Centres List

No detention centres data available

Statistics Expand all



600

Criminal prison population

2016

  • Criminal prison population
NumberObservation Date
6002016
7502011
5252009
5841999
6501994


66

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)

2016

  • Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
NumberObservation Date
662016
832011
602009
931999
1151994



888,000

Population

2015

  • Population
NumberObservation Date
888,0002015


112,400

International migrants

2015

  • International migrants
NumberObservation Date
112,4002015
123,5002013


12.7

International migrants as a percentage of the population

2015

  • International migrants as a percentage of the population
PercentageObservation Date
12.72015
14.22013


17,678

Refugees

2016

  • Refugees
NumberObservation Date
17,6782016
19,3652015
20,5302014


23.4

Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants

2014

  • Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
NumberObservation Date
23.42014
22.932013


5,421

Total number of new asylum applications

2016

  • Total number of new asylum applications
NumberObservation Date
5,4212016
1692014
7812013


100

Refugee recognition rate

2014

  • Refugee recognition rate
NumberObservation Date
1002014


0

Stateless persons

2016

  • Stateless persons
NumberObservation Date
02016
02014

Domestic Law Expand all

Legal tradition Show sources
NameObservation Date
Civil law2017
Muslim law2017
Customary law2017

Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law. Show sources
Number of DaysObservation Date
No Limit2015

Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice? Show sources
NameIn LawIn PracticeObservation Date
Accompanied minorsYes2015
Unaccompanied minorsYes2015
Asylum seekersYes2015

International Law Expand all

Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
  12/16
Individual complaints procedure Show sources
NameAcceptance Year
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities2012
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 19662002
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted Show sources
NumberObservation Date
2/7
2/7

Regional legal instruments Show sources
NameYear of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
ACHPR, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights1991
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol)2005

Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review Show sources
Recomendation IssuedYear IssuedObservation Date
No20092017
No20132017

Institutions Expand all

Detention Facility Management Show sources
Entity NameEntity TypeObservation Date
Coast GuardGovernmental2015

Authorized monitoring institutions Show sources
InstitutionInstitution TypeObservation Date
International Committee for the Red CrossInternational or Regional Bodies (IRBs)2015

Socio Economic Data Expand all

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD) Show sources
Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)Observation Date
1,8132014
Remittances to the country Show sources
Remittances to the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
362014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD) Show sources
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in USD)Observation Date
162.62014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP) Show sources
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)UNDP four-tiered rankingObservation Date
168Low2015

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