Gambia

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

4,302

Refugees

2019

215,406

International migrants

2019

2,400,000

Population

2020

Overview

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

28 October 2020

International Organization for Migration (IOM), “Voluntary Returns from Niger to The Gambia Resume After Six-Month Hiatus,” 25 September 2020, https://www.iom.int/fr/news/voluntary-returns-niger-gambia-resume-after-six-month-hiatus
International Organization for Migration (IOM), “Voluntary Returns from Niger to The Gambia Resume After Six-Month Hiatus,” 25 September 2020, https://www.iom.int/fr/news/voluntary-returns-niger-gambia-resume-after-six-month-hiatus

In mid-October, the Gambian government relaxed various COVID-19 restrictions on travel and public gatherings in the run up to its tourism season. The country declared its markets opened, waiving a two-week mandatory quarantine imposed on people arriving in the country. However, travelers are required to show evidence of negative polymerase chain reaction test results conducted less than 72 hours prior to their arrival. As of 27 October, the country had recorded 3,665 positive COVID-19 cases and 119 deaths related to the disease.

On 15 October, UNHCR reported that it had recorded one positive COVID-19 case of a person of concern and that one refugee in Gambia had died from the virus. In addition, UNHCR’s local partner, the Gambian Food & Nutrition Association (GAFNA), has reportedly assisted schools located in refugee areas to prepare for their reopening. The support consists of equipping them with hand washing buckets, fumigating classrooms and other school spaces, providing training to teachers on COVID-19 prevention, and mitigation measures to reduce the risk of contamination in school.

In its May-July update, UNHCR reported that the closure of borders and the limitation of commercial activities due to COVID-19 had a negative impact on the life of refugee populations and others in the country. UNHCR supported GAFNA to provide cash assistance for three months (May, June and July 2020) to a total of 115 vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers residing in both rural and urban areas.

In September, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) resumed its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme from Niger to The Gambia, with the support of the European Union. The returns were suspended in March when the governments of The Gambia and Niger imposed several restrictions, including the closure of all borders. The first group were returned on 23 September, which included 26 Gambian migrants. Before their departure, the IOM reportedly organised COVID-19 testing for people hosted at transit centres in Agadez and Niamey. The migrants were given hand sanitiser, masks, and food and water. Upon arrival, the returnees underwent temperature screenings and were issued arrival assistance cards before being transported to an overnight temporary accommodation facility, where they were provided meals and core relief items, including essential hygiene supplies.

As regards the country’s prisons, on 26 April, President Adama Barrow pardoned 115 prisoners in three different prisons--Mile 2 in Bajul (78 prisoners); Jeshwang (24 prisoners); and Jangjangbureh (13 prisoners)--in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19. On 11 September, the prison administration stated that it is compulsory to wear masks within prisons, to wash hands regularly, and to test detainees and personnel. Nonetheless, medical professionals have said that they are worried due to overpopulation. Moreover, on 25 September, an anonymous source reported that around 60 prisoners tested positive at the Mile 2 prison. Most of these prisoners were newly arrived prisoners.

While the GDP has noted in the past that the Mile 2 prison was used to detain undocumented migrants, we have been unable to confirm if it continues to be used for this purpose or whether any specific measures were taken to protect non-citizens in immigration procedures.


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)
1,121
2014
1,000
2012
780
2009
450
2002
478
1999
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
66.7
2002
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
58
2014
56
2012
45
2009
32
2002
38
1999

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
2,400,000
2020
1,991,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
215,406
2019
76,400
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
9.7
2015
Refugees (Year)
4,302
2019
4,034
2018
8,039
2017
7,936
2016
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
3.86
2016
6.02
2014
New Asylum Applications (Year)
2
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
100
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
484
2014
Remittances to the Country
191
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
99.7
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
175 (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

Custodial Authorities

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
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2018
2018
ICRMW, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
2018
2018
OPCRPD, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2015
2018
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2015
2015
CRSSP, Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons
2014
2014
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
2013
2013
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2003
2003
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
2003
2003
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1993
1993
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1990
1990
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1979
1979
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1978
1978
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1978
1978
PCRSR, Protocol to the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1967
1967
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
1966
1966
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 15/19
Treaty Reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
ICCPR Article 14 1979
1979
2017
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1988
1988
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2015
2015
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 2010
2017
No 2014
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 1983
1983
2017
ACRWC, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 2000
2000
2017
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) 2005
2005
2017

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

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

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS