Guinea-Bissau

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

10

New asylum applications

2019

1,846

Refugees

2019

29,916

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

Related Reading

17 March 2021

DW, “COVID-19: Presidente da Guiné-Bissau Renova Estado de Emergencia,” 26 April 2020, https://www.dw.com/pt-002/covid-19-presidente-da-guin%C3%A9-bissau-renova-estado-de-emerg%C3%AAncia/a-53251830
DW, “COVID-19: Presidente da Guiné-Bissau Renova Estado de Emergencia,” 26 April 2020, https://www.dw.com/pt-002/covid-19-presidente-da-guin%C3%A9-bissau-renova-estado-de-emerg%C3%AAncia/a-53251830

Guinea-Bissau, with an estimated population of some 1,800,000 people, is located in West Africa and shares borders with Senegal and Guinea. As of 16 March 2021, the country had recorded 3,447 cases and 52 COVID-19 deaths. On 28 March 2020, shortly after the first case was confirmed in the country, a state of emergency with night-time curfew was introduced and international flights were suspended. Certain measures have since been lifted and borders have been reopened with additional requirements for arriving passengers, including having proof of a negative PCR test.

The GDP has been unable to establish the extent to which detention facilities are used in Guinea-Bissau as part of immigration enforcement procedures or to obtain details on COVID-19 related measures taken to safeguard people in immigration or criminal custody, or those in international protection situations.

According to UNHCR, as of 28 February 2021, the country hosted 7,803 refugees and 38 asylum seekers. In December 2017, the government announced that it would naturalise 7,000 refugees in the country and in 2018, UNHCR began registering the refugees and working with a local contractor to produce and distribute ID cards and naturalisation and birth certificates. UNHCR’s chief of mission at the time said: “They were facing the risk of being stateless because of having no documents. It can be a lesson to others: how Guinea-Bissau managed to get rid of its caseload.” A major obstacle to naturalising refugees at that time was the large payment the government proposed per person--900,000 CFA (1,700 USD)--whcih was eventually reduced to to 150,000 CFA (270 USD).

The country has ratified several human rights treaties, including the Convention against Torture, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. However, at the time of this publication Guinea-Bissau had yet to submit its first state report to many treaty bodies. During its review for the third cycle of the UN Universal Periodic Review, Guinea-Bissau received several human rights recommendations, including: Improving “conditions of detention by overcoming prison overcrowding and improving sanitary conditions (France) (para. 119.50),” and appointing and empowering “a prison ombudsman to address complaints of inhumane treatment and poor conditions in prisons and detention centres (United States of America) (para. 119.51).”

As regards the country’s penitentiary system, according to the World Prison Brief, the country now has three prisons: Bafata, Mansoa, and a pre-trial detention centre in Bissau, with a capacity of 196 spaces. Guinea-Bissau used to have four jails, but they were destroyed during the 1998 civil war. In 2010, the UNODC and the country’s Ministry of Justice rehabilitated two prisons, which became the country’s first penitentiaries.


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
92
2012

DEMOGRAPHICS AND IMMIGRATION-RELATED STATISTICS

Population
2,000,000
2020
International migrants
29,916
2019
Refugees
1,846
2019
4,850
2018
11,204
2017
9,259
2016
8,684
2015
8,684
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
4.91
2016
Total number of new asylum applications
10
2019
0
2016
Stateless persons
0
2016

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2017
Customary law
2017

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 11/19
Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2009
2009
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 2013
2013
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 2013
2013
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
3/7
2017
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
ACHPR, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1985
1985
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) 2008
2008
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2010
2017
No 2015
2017

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS