Uruguay

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

12,222

New asylum applications

2019

498

Refugees

2019

81,482

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

03 December 2020

A Kit Used to Check for Antibodies in People with COVID-19, in Uruguay, 50,000 kits Were Developed, (Imago Images, Agencia EFE,
A Kit Used to Check for Antibodies in People with COVID-19, in Uruguay, 50,000 kits Were Developed, (Imago Images, Agencia EFE, "Uruguay Wages Successful Fight Against COVID-19," DW, 22 August 2020, https://www.dw.com/en/uruguay-wages-successful-fight-against-covid-19/a-54659839)

In March, Uruguay President Luis Lacalle Pou moved to impose a series of COVID-related restrictions, including closing non-essential shops and closing its border with Brazil. The moves--which notably did not include lock-down--came after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Montevideo on 13 March 2020. As of 30 November 2020, Uruguay had reported less than 6,000 COVID cases and 76 deaths related to the disease. Neighbouring Argentina also reacted swiftly but with stricter compulsory lockdown measures (see 3 April Argentina update on this platform); nevertheless, it has experienced dramatically more cases (approximately 1.4 million as of this writing).

In June, Uruguayan authorities expressed concern over the arrival of a large number of Cubans, some of whom sought to enter the country as refugees. According to Diario de Cuba, the Cuban nationals arrived in Uruguay through the Rivera department on the border with Brazil, where they expressed their intention to apply for asylum.

As of June 2020, Uruguay hosted 13,742 asylum seekers and 498 refugees under UNHCR’s mandate as well as 14,236 Venezuelans “displaced abroad.” According to the UNHCR, it employs the phrase Venezuelans “displaced abroad” to refer to people of Venezuelan origin who are likely to be in need of international protection under the criteria contained in the Cartagena Declaration, but who have not applied for asylum in the country in which they are present. As part of its COVID-19 response, UNHCR reports that it has provided humanitarian assistance to refugees and migrants suffering from the socioeconomic effects of the pandemic. UNHCR has provided accommodation, food, clothing, and cash assistance in major urban centres and border areas.

Uruguayan legislation does not provide for the detention of people in an irregular migratory situation. Like Argentina’s immigration legislation, Article 1 of Uruguay’s Migration Act, No. 18250 (Ley de Migraciones, N°18250), along with its Regulatory Decree n°394/009 of 2009, recognise the inalienable right of migrants and their relatives to migrate irrespective of their migration status. Furthermore, Article 9 provides that an irregular immigration status does not preclude a person from having access to justice and health care and that authorities must provide information on regularisation avenues. The legislation (Article 51) also provides for expulsion proceedings in certain situations. As per Article 52, where a person has entered irregularly or stayed in the country following the expiration of their permit, the Uruguayan immigration authority (Dirección Nacional de Migración), taking into account the specific circumstances of the case, is to advise the person that they must regularise their immigration status within a certain period of time in order to avoid expulsion. In its concluding observations in 2014, the Committee on Migrant Workers noted “with particular interest that the Act recognises: … (c) That no case involving a migrant in an irregular situation for administrative reasons warrants detention.”

In the country’s prisons, a sanitary protocol was put in place on 16 March whereby detainees presenting any symptoms are placed in quarantine. Hygienic products and sodium hypochlorite were distributed to the prisoners and the protocol envisages the fumigation of communal spaces and vehicles used for the transfer of detainees. On 13 April, 13 prisoners suffering from COVID-19 symptoms were tested. 8 tested negative and the rest were placed in isolation awaiting results.


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
10,228
2016
9,829
2013
8,700
2010
7,186
2007
6,888
2004
5,107
2001
3,927
1998
3,192
1995
3,157
1992
Percentage of foreign prisoners
2.8
2015
2.7
2006
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
297
2016
289
2013
257
2010
215
2007
207
2004
154
2001
119
1998
99
1995
100
1992
Population
3,500,000
2020
3,432,000
2015
International migrants
81,482
2019
71,800
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
2.4
2019
2.1
2015
Refugees
498
2019
391
2018
344
2017
274
2016
289
2015
272
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
0.09
2016
0.08
2015
Total number of new asylum applications
12,222
2019
378
2016
42
2014
Refugee recognition rate
77.3
2014
Stateless persons
0
2016
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
16,806
2014
Remittances to the country
124
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
88.7
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
52 (High)
2015

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2017
Constitutional guarantees?
Yes (Articles 7, 12 & 15) 2004
2004
Core pieces of national legislation
Ley de Migraciones, N°18250 de 2008 (Immigration Law N°18250 of 2008) (2008)
2008
Regulations, standards, guidelines
Decreto N°394/009, Reglamentación de la Ley N°18.250, Ley de Migraciones (Decree N°394/009, Regulation of Law N°18.250, Immigration Law) (2009)
2009
Provision of basic procedural standards
Right to legal counsel (Yes)
2008
Information to detainees (Yes)
2008
Right to appeal the lawfulness of detention (Yes)
2004
Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice?
Unaccompanied minors () No
2019

INTERNATIONAL LAW

International treaties
Ratification Year
Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
ICESCR, Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 2008 2013
2013
ICRMW, declaration under article 77 2012
2012
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2011
2011
ICPED, International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, declaration under article 31 2009
2009
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2001
2001
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 1988
1988
ICERD, declaration under article 14 of the Convention 1972
1972
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1970
1970
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
8/9
8/9
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
ACHR, American Convention on Human Rights 1985
1985
IACPPT, Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture 1992
1992
APACHR, Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1995
1995
CBDP, Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of Belem do Para) 1996
1996
IACFDP, Inter-American convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons 1996
1996
Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council
Year of Visit
Observation Date
Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 2009
2009
2015
Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children 2010
2010
2015
Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 2012
2012
2015
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2009
2017
No 2014

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS