Pakistan

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

220,900,000

Population

2020

Overview

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

08 April 2020

A Volunteer Checks the Temperature of Passengers Arriving at a Railway Station in Peshawar, AP Photo, 17 March 2020, (https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/19/pakistan-prisoners-risk-covid-19)
A Volunteer Checks the Temperature of Passengers Arriving at a Railway Station in Peshawar, AP Photo, 17 March 2020, (https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/19/pakistan-prisoners-risk-covid-19)

There are reports indicating that Pakistani authorities have taken some steps to mitigate the impact of the virus on the country’s prison population, which includes non-citizen detainees imprisoned under the 1946 Foreigners Act. The government has suspended visits to penitentiaries and court hearings. On 16 March, the Sindh provincial government began screening inmates and prison staff for Covid-19, while the Punjab government announced that it was creating isolation centres for prisoners.

However, critical concerns remain and there is increasing pressure to implement additional measures as the crisis becomes more acute. On 19 March, Human Rights Watch amplified calls to protect prisoners, urging the country’s authorities to take urgent steps to ensure that prisoners and detainees have access to adequate medical care and protective measures against Covid-19. Amnesty International and Justice Project Pakistan also urged authorities to take measures to protect prisoners. The Justice Project Pakistan urged the government to “devise a coherent approach to protecting its prison population, currently at over 77,000 individuals. Should the government fail to act now, Pakistani prisons and detention centres will become epicentres for the transmission of Covid-19.”

On 24 March 2020, the first case of Covid-19 within a prison was confirmed. On the same day, the Islamabad High Court ordered the release of hundreds of prisoners involved in petty crimes on bail, in a bid to reduce the hazards of the Covid-19 outbreak in jails. Since then, several provincial governments have ordered the release of prisoners: on 28 March, the Punjab government’s Home Department announced that it would be releasing 20,000 prisoners out of 46,000 from the 41 jails across the province (and bail applications have been made for prisoners who committed petty crimes and for those over the age of 60); and on 30 March, the Sindh government approved the temporary release for three months of around 4,000 prisoners. (Government officials hinted that drug smugglers and those convicted of terrorism may not be released. Prisoners convicted of “minor” crimes would be eligible for temporary release. It was reported that there were around 16,024 prisoners for 13,538 places in all prisons across the Sindh). The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa also announced that they would release prisoners 60 days early.


Last updated:

ENFORCEMENT DATA

Total Migration Detainees: Flow + Stock (year)
Not Available
2019
Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2017
Criminal Prison Population (Year)
80,169
2015
74,944
2012
75,586
2010
95,016
2007
89,370
2005
90,000
2002
74,485
1999
72,700
1996
68,453
1993
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
1.2
2007
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
43
2015
41
2012
43
2010
58
2007
57
2005
60
2002
54
1999
56
1996
58
1993

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
220,900,000
2020
188,925,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
3,257,978
2019
3,629,000
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
1.9
2015
Refugees (Year)
1,419,596
2019
1,404,019
2018
1,393,143
2017
1,352,551
2016
1,561,162
2015
1,505,525
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
7.01
2016
8.14
2014
New Asylum Applications (Year)
3,606
2019
6,302
2016
5,818
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
37
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2016
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
1,316
2014
Remittances to the Country
17,060
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
3,611.9
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
147 (Low)
2015
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
70
2007

B. Attitudes and Perceptions

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

GROUNDS FOR MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LENGTH OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

Custodial Authorities

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

DETENTION MONITORS

TRANSPARENCY

READMISSION/RETURN/EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS

Bilateral/Multilateral Readmission Agreements
EU (2010)
2017

COVID-19

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 DATA

Has the country released immigration detainees as a result of the pandemic?
No
2020

Has the country used legal "alternatives to detention" as part of pandemic detention releases?
Unknown
2021

Has the country Temporarily Ceased or Restricted Issuing Detention Orders?
Unknown
2021

Has the Country Adopted These Pandemic-Related Measures for People in Immigration Detention?
COVID-19 Testing: YesVaccinations: UnknownProvision of Masks: UnknownProvision of Hygiene Supplies: UnknownSuspension of Visits: Yes
2020

Has the Country Locked-Down Previously "Open" Reception Facilities, Shelters, Refugee Camps, or Other Forms of Accommodation for Migrant Workers or Other Non-Citizens?
Yes
2020

Have cases of COVID-19 been reported in immigration detention facilities or any other places used for immigration detention purposes?
Yes
2020

Has the Country Ceased or Restricted Deportations/Removals During any Period After the Onset of the Pandemic?
No
2021

Has the Country Released People from Criminal Prisons During the Pandemic?
Yes
2021

Have Officials Blamed Migrants, Asylum Seekers, or Refugees for the Spread of COVID-19?
Unknown
2021

Has the Country Restricted Access to Asylum Procedures?
Yes but restrictons ended
2020

Has the Country Commenced a National Vaccination Campaign?
Yes
2021

Have Populations of Concern Been Included/Excluded From the National Vaccination Campaign?
People in Immigration Custody (including legal in "alternatives to detention" or at open reception centres): UnknownRefugees: UnknownUndocumented Migrants: UnknownAsylum Seekers: UnknownStateless People: Unknown
2021

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2011
2011
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
2010
2010
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2010
2010
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
2008
2008
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1996
1996
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1990
1990
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1969
1969
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1966
1966
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 8/19
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
0/7
2017
Relevant Recommendations Issued by Treaty Bodies
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Committee against Torture 34.While commending the State party for hosting millions of refugees, many of them Afghans, the Committee is concerned about recent documented reports of coercion, including threats of deportation and police abuse, extortion, raids and arbitrary detention, to return Afghans, including registered refugees, to their country of origin where they could be at risk of persecution, torture or ill-treatment. The Committee regrets the lack of a legal framework for refugees and asylum seekers (art. 3). 2017
2017
Committee on the Rights of the Child § 66. "The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to: (a) Consider adopting a national refugee law in accordance with international standards and continue to host refugees, especially families with children and unaccompanied children; (b) Ensure that all children born to refugees, including those who do not hold proof of registration cards, asylum seekers and stateless persons, are registered at birth; (c) Integrate refugee and asylum-seeking children into national and provincial education systems on equal terms with nationals of the State party; (d) Provide refugees, in particular families with children, with adequate housing and provide shelter to those who live in the streets; (e) Enforce legal measures against child and bonded labour involving refugee, asylum-seeking and stateless children; (f) Prevent and protect refugee, asylum-seeking and stateless children from falling victim to early marriage, abuse, trafficking or religious radicalization; (g) Ensure the equal implementation of its citizenship laws with a view to extending citizenship to Bengali, Bihari and Rohingya children; (h) Consider ratifying the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, as well as the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness." 2016
2016

NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Relevant Recommendations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2008
2017
No 2012
2017

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

Legal Tradition(s)
Muslim law
2017
Common law
2017

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS