Ghana

No Data

Immigration detainees

No Data

Detained children

11,899

Refugees

2018

31,100,000

Population

2020

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:

IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION-RELATED STATISTICS

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
Population
31,100,000
2020
27,410,000
2015
International migrants
399,500
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
1.5
2015
Refugees
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
1,159
2016
1,043
2014
Refugee recognition rate
96.5
2014
Stateless persons
0
2016
0
2015
Total number of immigration detainees by year
Number of immigration detainees on a given day
Top nationalities of detainees
Number of persons granted alternatives to immigration detention
Number of detained asylum seekers
Total number of detained minors
Number of detained unaccompanied minors
Number of detained accompanied minors
Number of detained stateless persons
Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population
Estimated total immigration detention capacity
Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres
Number of immigration offices
Number of transit facilities
Number of criminal facilities
Number of ad hoc facilities
Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
Number of deportations/forced returns only
Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures
Estimated number of undocumented migrants

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
Remittances from the country
Unemployment rate amongst migrants
Detention for deterrence
Immigration Index Score
World Bank Rule of Law Index
Domestic Opinion Polls on Immigration

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Common law
2017
Customary law
2017
Constitutional guarantees?
Core pieces of national legislation
Additional legislation
Regulations, standards, guidelines
Immigration-status-related grounds
Non-immigration-status-related grounds providing for administrative detention in immigration legislation.
Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations?
Grounds for criminal immigration-related detention/incarceration and maximum potential duration of incarceration
Has the country decriminalized immigration-related violations?
Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law.
Longest recorded instance of immigration detention.
Maximum length of time in custody prior to issuance of a detention order
Average length of detention
Maximum length of detention for asylum-seekers
Maximum length of detention for persons detained upon arrival at ports of entry
Provision of basic procedural standards
Types of non-custodial measures
Impact of alternatives
Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice?
Mandatory detention
Expedited/fast track removal
Re-entry ban

INTERNATIONAL LAW

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
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
International treaty reservations
Treaty bodies decisions on individual complaints
Regional treaty reservations
Regional judicial decisions on individual complaints
Recommendations issued by regional human rights mechanisms
Bilateral/multilateral agreements linked to readmission
Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council
Relevant recommendations by UN Special Procedures

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS

Federal or centralized governing system
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority
Custodial authority
Apprehending authorities
Detention Facility Management
Formally designated detention estate?
Types of detention facilities used in practice
Authorized monitoring institutions
Is the national human rights institution (NHRI) recognized as independent?
Does NHRI carry out visits?
Does NHRI have capacity to receive complaints?
Does NHRI publicly release reports on immigration detention?
Does national preventive mechanism (NPM) carry out visits?
Does NPM have capacity to receive complaints?
Does NPM publicly release reports on immigration detention?
Do NGOs carry out visits?
NGO capacity to receive complaints?
Do NGOs publish reports on immigration detention?
Do parliamentary organs carry out visits?
Do parliamentary organs have capacity to receive complaints?
Do parliamentary organs publicly report on their detention findings?
Do internal inspection agencies (IIAs) carry out visits?
Do IIAs have capacity to receive complaints?
Do IIAs publicly report their findings from detention inspections?
Do international and/or regional bodies (IRBs) visit immigration-related detention facilities?
Do IRBs publicly report their findings from inspections?
Types of privatisation/outsourcing
Detention contractors and other non-state entities
Estimated annual budget for detention operations
Estimated annual budgets for particular detention-related activities
Estimated cost per detainees day (in USD)
Estimated annual budget for non-custodial measures (in USD)
Estimated costs of non-custodial measures (in USD)
Does the country receive external sources of funding?
Description of foreign assistance