Zambia

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

0

Detained children

2017

7,861

New asylum applications

2019

57,518

Refugees

2019

170,249

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

24 April 2020

People at the Kasumbalesa Market, Vital for Cross-Border Trade with Congo, (J. Nkomo, Zambia News, 13 April 2020,
People at the Kasumbalesa Market, Vital for Cross-Border Trade with Congo, (J. Nkomo, Zambia News, 13 April 2020, "Covid-19 Update - Kasumbalesa Market Disinfected," https://zambianews365.com/covid-19-update-kasumbalesa-market-disinfected/)

Although the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections in Zambia remains low (76 as of 22 April), the rate of infection continues to rise. A land-locked country, Zambia announced in late March that it would not close its borders because of the economic impact this would have. President Edgar Lungu said on 26 March, “Zambia is landlocked; and that means, with a crisis of this magnitude, we shall find ourselves under forced lockdown if all our neighbors close their borders. This situation would make us economically vulnerable and weaker.”

By mid-April, however, the country started implementing more stringent measures, including in its prisons, which also confine immigration detainees. On 12 April, the authorities announced that they would release all foreign nationals jailed on misdemeanor and immigration charges, and send them back to their countries of origin. The Ministry of Home Affairs said that the move would help reduce overcrowding in detention facilities - where rates of HIV and tuberculosis are known to be high - and protect prisoners who remain. However, because of restrictions on international travel many returns are not possible, so the country says it will regularise the status of migrants. According to the country’s Home Affairs Minister, “For foreign nationals who have exhausted their days and are unable to travel to their countries due to suspension of flights, (they are) to quickly visit the Immigration offices and regularise their stay in Zambia.”

The country also says that it has increased measures in border areas, including introducing tests at border crossings, although its border markets - including the Kasumbalesa Common Market near the border with Congo - are to remain open, and placing people arriving from “high-risk” countries in two-week quarantine. According to one report, the health minister said in late April that those arriving from “a COVID -19 High-risk country will be quarantined at a government designated institution but at their own cost.”

Zambia hosts a substantial refugee population, including nearly 50,000 Congolese. Concerns have been raised regarding safeguarding measures. UNHCR reports that it is organising local radio messaging in all refugee-hosting areas and engaging with personalities such as local musicians to produce Covid-19 prevention radio and social media messages. The agency has also provided the Ministry of Health with Refugee Housing Units to set-up at high-risk points such as borders.


Last updated:

IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION-RELATED STATISTICS

Total number of immigration detainees by year
Not Available
2019
Total number of detained minors
0
2017
5
2016
18
2015
48
2014
49
2013
Criminal prison population
25,000
2017
17,021
2013
16,666
2010
15,000
2008
14,207
2005
13,173
2002
11,999
2000
14,318
1998
Percentage of foreign prisoners
2.1
2005
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
160
2017
119
2013
128
2010
120
2008
124
2005
123
2002
116
2000
146
1998
Population
18,400,000
2020
16,212,000
2015
International migrants
170,249
2019
127,900
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
0.8
2015
Refugees
57,518
2019
49,879
2018
41,269
2017
29,338
2016
25,737
2015
25,578
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
1.76
2016
1.63
2014
Total number of new asylum applications
7,861
2019
3,934
2016
2,220
2014
Refugee recognition rate
62.8
2014
Stateless persons
0
2016
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
1,721
2014
Remittances to the country
58
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
994.6
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
139 (Medium)
2015

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Common law
2017
Customary law
2017
Core pieces of national legislation
Immigration and Deportation Act, No. 18 of 2010 (2010)
2010
Refugees and Control Act 1970 (1970)
1970

INTERNATIONAL LAW

International treaty reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
ICESCR Article 13 1984
1984
2017
CRSR Article 22 1969
1969
2017
CRSSP Article 22 1974
1974
2017
Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1984
1984
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
1/8
2017
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
ACHPR, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 1984
1984
APRW, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) 2006
2006
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2008
2017
No 2012
2017

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS