Equatorial Guinea

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

Not Available

Refugees

2020

227,617

International migrants

2019

1,400,000

Population

2020

Overview

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

09 March 2021

Daily News Egypt, “Equatorial Guinea President Receives 1st Dose of Chinese COVID-19 Vaccine,” 17 February 2021, https://dailynewsegypt.com/2021/02/17/equatorial-guinea-president-receives-1st-dose-of-chinese-covid-19-vaccine/
Daily News Egypt, “Equatorial Guinea President Receives 1st Dose of Chinese COVID-19 Vaccine,” 17 February 2021, https://dailynewsegypt.com/2021/02/17/equatorial-guinea-president-receives-1st-dose-of-chinese-covid-19-vaccine/

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea, a small country that is located on the west coast of Central Africa that also includes nearby islands, has a population of approximately 1.4 million people. As of 9 March 2021, it had recorded 6,371 cases and 96 COVID-19 deaths. On 22 March 2020, a week after the first case of the virus was confirmed in the capital Malabo, which is located on the islands of Bioko, the country declared a state of alarm and implemented a series of security measures, including border closures, intended to contain the spread of the virus. Certain measures have since been lifted and the borders have been reopened with additional requirements for arriving passengers, including having proof of a negative PCR test taken no longer than 48 hours prior; undergoing a rapid COVID-19 test upon arrival; staying in quarantine for 5 days and taking an additional test once the five days have passed.

In late July 2020, Vietnamese migrants working at Sendje Hydropower Plant tested positive and were repatriated to Vietnam. According to Reuters, of the 220 onboard the aircraft, 140 had tested positive for the virus.

The country does not appear to host many refugees. However, according to UNHCR, the country has nationals abroad who are recognised as people requiring international protection. Observers have long condemned the authoritarian government of committing widespread human rights abuses. The UN refugee agency reports that as of 2019, there were 156 mandate refugees and 167 asylum seekers from Equatorial Guinea around the world.

While the country is not a party to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, in 2002 it ratified both the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment as well as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In 2019 UNHCR welcomed Equatorial Guinea’s accession to the Kampala Convention on internally displaced persons, becoming the 29th African Union member state to do so.

According to the U.S. State Department, during 2019 both legal and irregular immigrants were arbitrarily arrested, physically abused, detained, and extorted in some cases. It also states that the government was uncooperative in granting protection to forcibly displaced populations registered with the UNHCR. “Diplomatic representatives in the country criticized the government for the harassment, abuse, extortion, and detention of foreign nationals and for not renewing residence and work permits in a timely manner, making foreign nationals vulnerable to abuse.”

However, the GDP has been unable to establish the extent to which detention facilities are used in Equatorial Guinea as part of immigration enforcement procedures or to obtain details on COVID-19 related measures taken to safeguard people in immigration custody. The country’s laws, however, provide enforcement measures and criminal penalties for immigraiton violations. According to Article 46(a) of Organic Law Number 3/2010 of 30 May, Regulating the Rights of Foreigners in Equatorial Guinea (Ley Orgánica Número 3/2010, de fecha 30 de mayo, Reguladora del Derecho de Extranjería en Guinea Ecuatorial), it is a “serious offence” to be in an irregular situation in Equatorial Guinea. Article 48 provides fines for serious offences from “500.001 F.cfas to 3.000.000 of F.cfas.” In addition, under Article 50(1), non-citizens can be expelled from the country for committing “serious offences,” including for being in the country without authorisation. Moreover, according to Article 51(1), people who are expelled from the country under this law are prohibited from re-entering for a period of 10 to 15 years.

Observers have reported a grim picture of Equatorial Guinea’s prisons and detention centres. The UN Human Rights Committee noted in 2019 concern about overcrowding in prisons with no separation of men, women and minors, no food provision, poor sanitary and healthcare conditions, arbitrary arrests and imprisonments, and incommunicado detention. Amnesty International documented extensive torture of prisoners between the years 1988 and 2009, and the U.S. State Department reported in 2019 “harsh and life threatening” conditions “due to abuse, overcrowding, disease, inadequate food, poorly trained staff, and lack of medical care.” There have also been numerous reports about the spread of diseases--including malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS--posing a serious problem in prisons, suggesting vulnerability to COVID-19 outbreaks.

On 24 April 2020, the political party, “Convergencia Para la Democracia Social” called on the government to decongest police stations and penitentiaries. It also called for the release of those detained for non-violent offences and political prisoners. A day earlier, a nurse was released from the Black Beach prison after having been imprisoned for telling a friend via Whatsapp that the hospital where coronavirus patients were being treated had no oxygen.

On 17 February 2020, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has been in office since 1982, received the first dose of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine. On this occasion, the president appealed to the entire population to get vaccinated. 100,000 Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine doses were donated by the Chinese government to certain African countries, including Equatorial Guinea.


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)
500
2015
650
2012
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
63
2015
95
2012

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
1,400,000
2020
845,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
227,617
2019
10,800
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
1.3
2015
Refugees (Year)
Not Available
2020
0
2016
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
18,918
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
0.6
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
138 (Medium)
2015

B. Attitudes and Perceptions

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Detention-Related Legislation
Organic Law Number 3/2010 of 30 May, Regulating the Rights of Foreigners in Equatorial Guinea (Ley Orgánica Número 3/2010, de fecha 30 de mayo, Reguladora del Derecho de Extranjería en Guinea Ecuatorial) (2010)
2010

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
1976
2017
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
2002
2017
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1987
2017
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1987
2017
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1984
2017
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2002
2017
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1992
2017
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1986
2017
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2003
2017
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 9/19
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
Observation Date
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1987
1987
2017
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2009
2009
2017
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
2/6
2017

NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Relevant Recommendations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2014
2017
Yes 2014
2017
Yes 2010
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 1986
1986
2017
ACRWC, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 2002
2002
2017
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) 2009
2009
2017

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

Legal Tradition(s)
Civil law
2017
Customary law
2017

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS