Cuba

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

46

New asylum applications

2019

233

Refugees

2019

4,886

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

Related Reading

20 October 2020

A Street Vendor Wearing a Mask as a Precaution Against the Spread of Coronavirus, (Associated Press,
A Street Vendor Wearing a Mask as a Precaution Against the Spread of Coronavirus, (Associated Press, "Cuba Closes Off Havana to Stamp Out Spread of Coronavirus," 1 September 2020, https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/cuba-closes-off-havana-stamp-spread-coronavirus-72753238)

The Cuban government responded swiftly to the COVID-19 crisis, implementing several restrictions early on in the pandemic including a ban on tourist arrivals and a lockdown for vulnerable people. By August 2020, however, cases began to increase and by mid-October there were a total of 6,220 cases and 125 deaths related to the virus.

The GDP has been unable to establish the extent to which detention facilities are currently used in Cuba as part of immigration enforcement procedures or obtain details on COVID-19 related measures taken to safeguard people in immigration custody.

In its submission to the Universal Periodic Review regarding Cuba in 2018, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that “as a matter of practice, Cuban immigration authorities do not detain asylum seekers. When a non-citizen in detention contacts UNHCR to submit an application for the refugee status, UNHCR is granted access to the person, who is subsequently released.” UNHCR underscored the possibility that “people in need of international protection could be detained and deported without having the opportunity to seek international protection, as immigration authorities do not have mechanisms or regulations to identify asylum-seekers and they do not refer cases to UNHCR.” UNHCR recommended that the country: “(a) accede to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees; (c) establish official identification and referral mechanisms for persons in need of international protection, with the assistance of UNHCR; and (d) grant temporary residency status to mandate refugees recognised after arriving in the country with tourist visas, under the sub-classification of refugees set forth in the national legislation on migration.” The agency reports that in 2017 there were 343 refugees and 15 asylum seekers; in 2019, there were 233 refugees and 31 asylum-seekers.

As regards the country’s prisons, on 30 April, the government ordered the release of 6,579 prisoners as part of its pandemic response: 421 prisoners were released to their homes awaiting their trials and others were given conditional release. By 6 April, the prison authority had published a prevention plan for detainees, guards, and any other persons intervening in detention. The measures include a hygiene and disinfection protocol, access to medical care, and the creation of isolation quarters.

As of 19 October, there were no reports of COVID-19 cases within the country’s prisons. On the other hand, in February 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights highlighted in a report on the situation of human rights in Cuba the persistence of deplorable conditions of detention in the country’s prisons, including overcrowding, insufficiency of medicines, food and drinking water, inadequate hygiene and sanitation and poor medical assistance.


Last updated:

IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION-RELATED STATISTICS

Total number of immigration detainees by year
Not Available
2019
Total number of detained minors
Not Available
2017
Criminal prison population
57,337
2012
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
510
2012
Population
11,300,000
2020
11,390,000
2015
International migrants
4,886
2019
13,300
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
0.1
2015
Refugees
233
2019
287
2018
342
2017
312
2016
303
2015
280
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
0.03
2016
0.02
2014
Total number of new asylum applications
46
2019
75
2016
1
2014
Refugee recognition rate
92.9
2014
Stateless persons
0
2016
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
6,789
2013
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
261.7
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
67 (High)
2015

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2017

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS