Tajikistan

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

3,235

New asylum applications

2019

3,788

Refugees

2019

274,071

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

24 November 2020

C. Putz, “Zero to 15: Tajikistan Finally Confirms First Cases of COVID-19,” The Diplomat, 30 April 2020, https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/zero-to-15-tajikistan-finally-confirms-first-cases-of-covid-19/
C. Putz, “Zero to 15: Tajikistan Finally Confirms First Cases of COVID-19,” The Diplomat, 30 April 2020, https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/zero-to-15-tajikistan-finally-confirms-first-cases-of-covid-19/

Although Tajik authorities closed the country’s borders to travellers from more than 30 countries in early March, the government initially denied the existence of the virus--even allowing mass public events to be held. In April however, following the announcement that the WHO would send a team to investigate the country’s virus-free status, authorities confirmed the detection of 15 cases in the country. As of 24 November 2020, 11,932 confirmed cases and 86 deaths have been reported.

Like its Central Asian neighbours, Tajikistan has long witnessed significant flows of external labour migration, especially to Russia. (In August, undocumented Tajik migrants in Moscow were targeted in raids--see 19 November Russia Federation update on this platform.) Border closures and flight cancellations, however, have left thousands of Tajik migrant workers stranded outside of the country waiting for charter flights to repatriate them. Between April and October, Tajik officials report having returned 70,000 citizens via charter flights.

In 2020, Tajikistan established a new law allowing foreign nationals and stateless people irregularly residing in the country to regularise their stay by obtaining residence permits, as well as enabling them to apply for Tajik citizenship after three years. State authorities estimate the new law will benefit some 20,000 people, mostly former citizens of the Soviet Union, who came to Tajikistan before the end of 2016.

A signatory of the Refugee Convention, the country has adopted domestic legislation for the purposes of refugee protection under the 1994 Law on Refugees (which was revised in 2002 and 2014). As of August 2019, there were a total of 11,299 persons of concern in Tajikistan according to UNHCR, including 2,287 refugees (the vast majority of whom are from Afghanistan), 2,170 asylum seekers, and 6,842 stateless persons. Research conducted by UNHCR PDES has previously highlighted the severe restrictions imposed on refugees’ and asylum seekers’ freedom of movement, including laws preventing them from taking up residence in large urban areas as well as in border areas and imposing heavy criminal penalties for breaches of movement restrictions (including arrest, detention, fines, the withdrawal of refugee status, and deportation). It has also raised concern regarding provisions in national law that do not conform to the Refugee Convention, such as Resolution 323, which provides that a person who has transited through certain countries (e.g. Afghanistan, Uzbekistan) is considered as having found protection in those countries, which can subsequently constitute a basis for refusal of registration of applications for granting asylum.

Law No.590 under Article 5 of the revised 1994 Law on Refugees provides that the national security body of the Republic of Tajikistan shall detain asylum-seekers crossing the border into Tajikistan who do not have a permit to enter, but who have claimed asylum. In such cases, it must communicate information about this detention to the relevant internal affairs departments within 72 hours, while observing the principle of non-refoulement. Under Law No.919, a person who is forced to illegally cross the state border of the Republic of Tajikistan (e.g. as a result of being trafficked) and who claims asylum, shall be detained by units of border troops of the national security body but shall not be subject to sanctions for illegal entry or stay.

Little information appears to be available concerning the treatment of migrants or asylum seekers in immigration enforcement and detention procedures in Tajikistan--including during the pandemic. In its third periodic report on Tajikistan in June 2018, the UN Committee on Torture expressed concern regarding reports of torture in prisons and pre-trial detention, including deaths in custody, particularly of political dissidents. Having banned prison visits to inmates during the pandemic, on 16 November it was reported that families would be able to visit their detained relatives again.


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
9,317
2010
7,350
2008
10,804
2006
10,000
2003
11,000
2001
6,000
1996
4,203
1993
Percentage of foreign prisoners
4.9
2008
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
121
2010
102
2008
157
2006
152
2003
175
2001
102
1996
74
1993
Population
9,500,000
2020
8,482,000
2015
International migrants
274,071
2019
275,100
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
3.2
2015
Refugees
3,788
2019
2,657
2018
2,525
2017
2,719
2016
1,969
2015
1,782
2015
2,026
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
0.31
2016
0.24
2014
Total number of new asylum applications
3,235
2019
273
2016
2,219
2014
Refugee recognition rate
43.8
2014
Stateless persons
4,616
2018
10,500
2017
17,002
2016
10,051
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
1,114
2014
Remittances to the country
3,835
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
353.3
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
129 (Medium)
2015

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2017

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1999
1999
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2014
2014
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
1/7
2017
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies
Recommendation Year
Committee on Migrant Workers "§24- ( c ) strengthen its cooperation with the law enforcement agencies of the main countries of employment of tajik migrant workers in order to provide better protection for its citizens and to ensure that the situation of tajik migrant workers and members of their families , who are held in detention , is effectively monitored;" "§38. provide assistance to tajik migrants who are victims of discrimination, violence and prolonged detention in countries of employment . " 2012
2012
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2011
2017
No 2016
2017

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS

Authorized monitoring institutions
The Human Rights Ombudsman (National Human Rights Institution (or Ombudsperson) (NHRI))
2009
Is the national human rights institution (NHRI) recognized as independent?
No
2016