Last updated: July 2016
Antigua and Barbuda Immigration Detention Profile
The tiny Caribbean island country of Antigua and Barbuda opened its first immigration detention centre in 2012. A government press release at the time stated: “The opening of the Detention Center is an effort to improve the current manner in which persons are detained. The Chief of Immigration says he expects that there will be some criticism with regard to the size and appearance of the facility but says ‘something is better than nothing.’”
The country relies heavily on tourism and the financial sector. While it has experienced low levels of migration during much of its history, Antigua and Barbuda recently experienced a modest upsurge in its migrant population. This could be the result of the diversification of the national economy and the significant influx of Central American migrants.
The Immigration and Passport Act of 1946 regulates entry of persons to the country. The law has provisions concerning the treatment of non-citizens who violate the law. Although administrative detention is only vaguely implied in the law, section 40 lists a number offences and accompanying penalties. Thus, for instance, it provides that “any prohibited immigrant who knowingly lands” on the territory may be sentenced to a maximum six month imprisonment.
The law also provides sharp restrictions on vessels and empowers masters of vessels to hold suspected prohibited persons on board. Section 26 of the act states: "The master of a vessel may use all reasonable and proper means (including force if necessary) to prevent any person landing in Antigua and Barbuda contrary to the provisions of this Act.” Masters and owners of vessels are also liable for repatriation expenses under the Act.
Observers have noted that Antigua and Barbuda, like many of its neighbouring island nations, lacks a developed civil society sector that can provide independent oversight and monitoring of immigration detention operations.
 Government of Antigua and Barbuda. 2012. Press Release: New Immigration Detention Center Opens." 10 July 2012. http://www.ab.gov.ag/article_details.php?id=3307&category=38
IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION-RELATED STATISTICS
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
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
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
Remittances from the country
Unemployment rate amongst migrants
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
World Bank Rule of Law Index
Domestic Opinion Polls on Immigration
DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES
Immigration and Passport Act of 1946 (2015)
Regulations, standards, guidelines
Non-immigration-status-related grounds providing for administrative detention in immigration legislation.
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
Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice?
Expedited/fast track removal
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
CBDP, Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belem do Para)
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
International treaty reservations
Treaty bodies decisions on individual complaints
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies
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
Immigration Department (Ministry of National Security)
Internal or Public Security
Immigration Department (Governmental)
Federal or centralized governing system
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority
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
- Department of Immigration
- Antigua & Barbuda’s Government Information and Service
- Antigua and Barbuda Laws
- UNHCR Regional Representation in Washington (Covering Antigua & Barbuda
- IOM Antigua and Barbuda Country Profile
NGOs, NHRIs, and Research Institutions
- Ombudsman Antigua and Barbuda
- Amnesty International Antigua and Barbuda