Ghana

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

490

New asylum applications

2019

11,946

Refugees

2019

466,780

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

Related Reading

09 September 2020

A. Abu-bashal, “Ghana pardons 794 prisoners to curb spread of COVID-19,” Anadolu Agency, 3 July 2020, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/ghana-pardons-794-prisoners-to-curb-spread-of-covid-19/1898022
A. Abu-bashal, “Ghana pardons 794 prisoners to curb spread of COVID-19,” Anadolu Agency, 3 July 2020, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/ghana-pardons-794-prisoners-to-curb-spread-of-covid-19/1898022

As of mid-2020, Ghana was hosting more than 12,000 registered refugees and some 400,000 migrants. The online African peace research platform Kujenga Amani reported that Ghana was “slow to recognise the scale of risks posed by restrictive measures such as a partial lockdown, stay at home and border closure, to vulnerable groups in society.” As a result, Ghana’s migrant and refugee communities, already adversely affected by socio-economic exclusion, have faced even harsher challenges during the Covid-19 crisis.

Although the Global Detention Project has not identified dedicated immigration detention sites in the country, Ghana has emphasised immigration control measures in its policy statements. After the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government threatened to deport non-nationals who test positive for the disease. However, as of writing, the government does not appear to have followed through on these threats. According to media reports, for Guinean and Burkina Faso nationals, repatriation was halted due to the lack of cooperation from their respective governments. Nevertheless, the threats of deportation have caused panic among refugees and migrants, some of whom have reportedly fled isolation centres or refused offers for medical treatment.

On 17 March, prison visits were limited to one per prisoner, once per week, and two-week isolation was implemented for every new prisoner. In 2019, the country’s 44 prisons had on average a 155 percent occupancy rate. This overcrowding was denounced on 26 June by the POS foundation, which urged the government to release prisoners who had committed minor non-violent offences. The President of Ghana had pardoned 1,602 prisoners by 2 July, as a measure to reduce the overcrowding in prisons. However, several prisoners have reportedly tested positive to Covid-19 in Accra, Tamale, and Kumasi prisons. In Tamale prison, prisoners and prison staff were being randomly tested back in May, but there does not seem to be any national plan to implement sanitary measures in prisons.


Last updated:

DETENTION, EXPULSION, AND INCARCERATION STATISTICS

Total number of immigration detainees by year
Not Available
2019
Total number of detained minors
Not Available
2017
Criminal prison population
13,068
2017
14,416
2014
13,507
2010
13,335
2007
11,581
2004
10,444
2001
8,364
1998
7,727
1995
Percentage of foreign prisoners
6.8
2017
4.5
2009
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
47
2017
55
2014
55
2010
59
2007
55
2004
53
2001
46
1998
45
1995

DEMOGRAPHICS AND IMMIGRATION-RELATED STATISTICS

Population
31,100,000
2020
27,410,000
2015
International migrants
466,780
2019
399,500
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
1.5
2015
Refugees
11,946
2019
11,899
2018
12,156
2017
11,851
2016
17,406
2015
18,450
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
0.42
2016
0.69
2014
Total number of new asylum applications
490
2019
1,159
2016
1,043
2014
Refugee recognition rate
96.5
2014
Stateless persons
0
2016
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
1,441
2014
Remittances to the country
126
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
1,116.4
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
140 (Medium)
2016
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
71
2007

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Common law
2017
Customary law
2017
Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice?
Unaccompanied minors () No
2019

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 13/19
Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 2000
2000
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 2000
2000
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2012
2012
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
3/8
2017
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies
Recommendation Year
Committee on Migrant Workers "the committee recalls that administrative detention should only be used as a last resort, and recommends that the state party consider alternatives to administrative detention. it further recommends that the state party: (a) include in its second periodic report detailed disaggregated information on the number of migrant workers detained for immigration offences and the place, average duration and conditions of their detention; (b) ensure that migrant workers detained for violations of immigration law are held in special facilities, separately from ordinary prisoners; (c) provide updated information, including disaggregated statistics, on the numbers of expulsions as well as the procedures used; (d) ensure that the minimum guarantees enshrined in the convention are assured with regard to criminal or administrative charges against migrant workers and members of their families." 2014
2014
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
ACHPR, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1989
1989
ACRWC, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 2005
2005
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) 2007
2007
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2008
2017
No 2012
2017

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS