No detention centre mapping data

Bangladesh Immigration Detention

Quick Facts

International migrants (2015): 1,422,000

Centres List

No detention centres data available

Statistics Expand all


Criminal prison population


  • Criminal prison population
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Percentage of foreign prisoners


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Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)


  • Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
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  • Population
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International migrants


  • International migrants
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International migrants as a percentage of the population


  • International migrants as a percentage of the population
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  • Refugees
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Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants


  • Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
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Total number of new asylum applications


  • Total number of new asylum applications
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Stateless persons


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Domestic Law Expand all

Legal tradition Show sources
NameObservation Date
Common law2017
Muslim law2017

Latest Update Show sources
Update StatusObservation Date
On 9 July 2020, Human Rights Watch urged Bangladeshi authorities to immediately move more than 300 Rohingya refugees, including 33 children, from the silt island of Bhasan Char to the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps to join their families. Despite inviting UNHCR and other UN agencies to Bhasan Char island, the Bangladesh government is yet to allow UN officials to provide protection services and aid to refugees detained on Bhasan Char, who had been stranded at sea for several weeks. As of 19 June, discussions on the parameters of the visit were ongoing. Bangladeshi authorities stated that the rescued refugees had to be temporarily quarantined on Bhasan Char to avoid spreading Covid-19 amongst the crowded camps. Yet, more than two months later, the refugees remain on the island despite calls from UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres to return them to refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. Human Rights Watch Asia Director, Brad Adam, said that “Bangladesh authorities are using the pandemic as an excuse to detain refugees on a spit of land in the middle of a churning monsoon sea while their families anxiously pray for their return… The government is inexplicably delaying aid workers’ access to support the refugees with immediate care, and refusing to reunite them with their families in the Cox’s Bazar camps.” Families in Cox’s Bazar have told Human Rights Watch that their relatives on Bhasan Char are being held without freedom of movement, adequate access to food or medical care, and face severe shortages of safe drinking water. In addition, certain refugees have alleged that they were beaten and ill-treated by Bangladesh authorities on the island. Humanitarian experts have repeatedly raised concerns over the habitability and conditions on the island. After her visit to the island in January 2019, the UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, questioned whether the island was “truly habitable.” Bangladesh authorities assured that no refugees would be involuntarily relocated to Bhasan Char, saying that the government would await a green signal from UN agencies and independent experts. The senior secretary of Bangladesh’s Disaster Management Ministry told the Media on 30 October 2019 that “UN agencies will conduct a technical assessment regarding the safety issues in the island … and we will not start the relocation without any clearance from the UN agencies.” Nonetheless, the government has gone back on this promise by refusing to return the refugees to their families, preventing UN agencies from visiting the refugees to provide protection, medical and verification services, and also by refusing to allow UN agencies access to the island to conduct a transparent assessment of its habitability. At the same time, Myanmar has yet to take concrete steps to enable safe and voluntary returns. Human Rights Watch urged donors and concerned governments to insist that the Myanmar government and military ensure the security and basic rights of Rohingya, ensure unhindered access for international humanitarian agencies to provide resources and monitor rights, and provide full citizenship for the Rohingya, with all accompanying rights and protections.2020
More than 500 people - including children - have been stranded on two fishing trawlers in the Bay of Bengal, after Bangladesh refused to allow the refugees to come ashore. Last week, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister announced that the boats would not be allowed to dock, adding that in light of the Covid-19 pandemic the country could not take responsibility for any new refugees. Urging Bangladesh to open its ports, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights decried the situation as a “human tragedy of terrible proportions.” Meanwhile, in a statement released on 25 April, Human Rights Watch said that “the pandemic cannot justify a blanket ban such as Bangladesh’s refusal to allow any Rohingya now or in the future to disembark. Forcing them to remain on the boat also risks their right to health.” On 8 April, Bangladesh announced the lockdown of Cox’s Bazar, the country’s southern district where more than 855,000 Rohingya refugees live in overcrowded refugee camps. (Population density inside the camps is more than 40 times the average density elsewhere in Bangladesh.) The chief of the district’s administration stated that entry and exit from the region would be prohibited, and that stringent legal action would be taken against those violating the order. Police and soldiers reportedly set up roadblocks on main roads within the district, and conduct patrols inside and outside camps. With government bans on mobile phone and internet use in the camps still in place, many refugees continue to lack access to important public health messaging.2020
There are critical concerns about the risk of infection spreading uncontrollably in the overcrowded camps and other facilities used to house the some one million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Human rights groups issued a joint letter on 1 April commending the government “for working closely with the humanitarian community on COVID-19 preparedness and response in Cox’s Bazar District, including efforts to establish isolation and treatment facilities.” However the groups pleaded with authorities to stop building barbed wire fencing around camps and to restrict mobile internet connections because these “measures threaten the safety and well-being of the refugees as well as Bangladesh host communities and aid workers, in light of the growing COVID-19 pandemic.” Separately, the Banglsdeshi Inspector General of Prisons has advised that newly arrived prisoners are to be kept isolated for a period of 14 days prior to joining the general population. He also stated that prisoners already serving time are being checked one by one in every prison of the country. The Inspector also stated that, while plans to release prisoners convicted of minor offences, such as Iran, had been discussed, they are not currently being envisaged. It is thus far unclear if there are specific measures being taken to safeguard immigration-related detainees.2020

International Law Expand all

Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
International treaty reservations Show sources
NameReservation YearObservation Date
ICCPR Article 1020002000
CAT Article 1419981998
ICESCR Article 219981998
ICESCR Article 319981998
CRC Article 1419901990
CEDAW Article 219841984
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies Show sources
NameRecommendation ExcerptRecommendation Year
Committee on Migrant Workers§34. The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Take the steps necessary to ensure that in administrative and judicial proceedings, including detention and expulsion proceedings, migrant workers and members of their families, particularly those in an irregular situation, are guaranteed due process on an equal basis with nationals of the State party before the courts and tribunals; (b) Ensure that the minimum guarantees enshrined in the Convention are assured with regard to administrative and judicial procedures against migrant workers and members of their families.2017
Committee on Migrant Workers36. The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Make the proactive protection of migrant workers, including those in an irregular situation and those working in isolated conditions, a priority concern for its diplomatic missions in destination States; (b) Strengthen the welfare services and consular assistance provided to the State party’s migrant workers in destination States, including psychological counselling, legal counselling and shelters for migrants in distress, and ensure that such services and assistance are gender-responsive; (c) Ensure that diplomatic missions are adequately staffed and that staff are properly trained on a human rights-based approach to dealing with all issues faced by migrant workers; (d) Ensure that diplomatic missions in States of employment have specific policies on the prevention of and responses to arbitrary detention and sexual and gender-based violence, including having female officers to deal with cases of sexual abuse, a free, hotline that operates around the clock, a roster of competent local lawyers able to help the State party’s migrant workers with legal issues and to conduct frequent visits to migrant detention centres.2017
Committee on Migrant Workers54. The Committee recommends that the State party: (a) Facilitate the repatriation of all migrant workers in need, including those who have escaped from abusive employers or have ended up in an irregular situation, in detention or elsewhere; (b) Enhance the gender-responsive services provided for the reintegration of returned migrant workers, including psychosocial services and livelihood opportunities, particularly providing response services for victims of sexual and gender-based violence and those who have experienced abuse during the migration process; (c) Conduct awareness-raising programmes to highlight the contribution of women migrant workers and combat the stigmatization of returning women migrant workers.2017

Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review Show sources
Recomendation IssuedYear IssuedObservation Date

Socio Economic Data Expand all

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD) Show sources
Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)Observation Date
Remittances to the country Show sources
Remittances to the country (in millions USD)Observation Date
Unemployment Rate Show sources
Unemployment RateObservation Date
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD) Show sources
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in USD)Observation Date
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP) Show sources
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)UNDP four-tiered rankingObservation Date

Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration Show sources
% who agree with the statement “We should restrict and control entry of people into our country more than we do now.”Observation Date

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