Sudan

No Data

Immigration detainees

Not Available

Detained children

2017

7,086

New asylum applications

2019

1,055,489

Refugees

2019

1,223,092

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

20 November 2020

UNHCR, “Aid Urgently Needed for Ethiopians Streaming Into Sudan,” 17 November 2020, https://www.unhcr.org/uk/news/latest/2020/11/5fb3cb3e4/aid-urgently-needed-ethiopians-streaming-sudan.html
UNHCR, “Aid Urgently Needed for Ethiopians Streaming Into Sudan,” 17 November 2020, https://www.unhcr.org/uk/news/latest/2020/11/5fb3cb3e4/aid-urgently-needed-ethiopians-streaming-sudan.html

Since early November, more than 27,000 Ethiopian refugees have fled the Tigray region and crossed into Sudan. According to UNHCR, on just one day--15 November--some 5,000 refugees arrived in Sudan’s border provinces of Kassala and al-Qadarif. Information campaigns are reported to have been initiated to ensure that refugees crossing into Sudan understand how to avoid the spread of COVID-19, and hand soap and 50,000 face masks have been sent to the border areas from Khartoum.

With growing numbers of arrivals--and predictions by international observers that thousands more refugees will seek refuge in Sudan--available shelter is under increasing pressure, and authorities face a rush to identify and provide more sites. A transit centre in Hamdayet, which has capacity for 300 people, is reported to be hosting 12,000. Several thousand have been placed in the Um Rakouba (or Um Raquba) refugee camp, but authorities are struggling to provide sufficient services, including food distribution.

As of the end of 2019, Sudan was reported to be hosting 1,055,489 refugees--the majority of whom are from South Sudan. The government has maintained a reservation on Article 26 of the UN Refugee Convention (Article 26 provides for refugees’ freedom of movement and the ability to choose place of residence) and requires refugees to stay in designated camps. However, more than 75 percent of South Sudanese refugees are believed to be living within the host community. Persons found exiting camps are subject to fines and return to the camp, while those apprehended in urban areas face arrest and detention if they lack valid identification cards. According to the U.S. State Department, on average between 150 and 200 refugees and asylum seekers are detained in Khartoum each month.

Reports in the past have indicated that the country uses prisons for the detention of non-nationals for migration-related reasons, as well as ad hoc immigration detention facilities. The U.S. State Department, UNHCR, and media outlets have also referred to various immigration detention facilities, including an “Aliens Detention Centre” in Khartoum, although the GDP has not identified their exact locations or been able to verify if any remain in use. Prison conditions, meanwhile, remain deeply concerning. The U.S. State Department describes them as “harsh and life threatening, overcrowding was a major problem.” The UN has reportedly provided some supplies to several prisons during the pandemic, as well as awareness campaigns on preventive measures.

Since the launch of the Khartoum Process in late 2014, the EU has focused on curbing northward migration from Sudan--via both migration control efforts, and schemes to “address the root causes of displacement.” Through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the country--which until 2019 was under the leadership of a President facing an International Criminal Court warrant for crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes--has received hundreds of thousands to achieve these goals. In 2016, German media obtained documents that showed that EU efforts to curb migration focussed on border protection, and that plans were in place to establish two camps with detention rooms. Although the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development reported that these plans were binding, the SOAS Centre for Human Rights Law later reported that the plans had been dropped.

Concerns that EU funds were being channeled into a country with little respect for human rights have grown since the launch of the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. In 2016, these concerns became acute in the wake of reports that the RSF (Rapid Support Force, formerly the notorious Janjaweed), which had been hired to curb migration using EU funds, had been involved in the arrest and deportation of hundreds of Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers. Later, in March 2019, funding for the EU’s “Better Migration Management” project in Sudan--which supported the training of border control forces and policies--was suspended amid fears that the funds were being used to strengthen security forces (including the RSF) responsible for violently suppressing peaceful protests. As of July 2020 however, the programme appeared to have resumed.


Last updated:

IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION-RELATED STATISTICS

Total number of detained minors
Not Available
2017
Criminal prison population
19,101
2013
20,000
2011
19,144
2009
12,809
2002
12,933
1997
9,670
1992
Percentage of foreign prisoners
1
2003
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
50
2013
56
2011
45
2009
39
2002
46
1997
35
1992
Population
43,800,000
2020
40,235,000
2015
International migrants
1,223,092
2019
503,500
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
1.3
2015
Refugees
1,055,489
2019
1,078,287
2018
906,599
2017
421,454
2016
309,639
2015
356,191
2015
277,833
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
10.24
2016
Total number of new asylum applications
7,086
2019
8,535
2016
9,979
2014
Refugee recognition rate
100
2014
Stateless persons
0
2016
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
1,875
2014
Remittances to the country
432
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
871.9
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
167 (Low)
2015

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Muslim law
2017
Common law
2017

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2009
2009
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
1/5
2017
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
ACHPR, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1986
1986
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2011
2017
No 2016
2017

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS