Timor-Leste

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

8,417

International migrants

2019

1,300,000

Population

2020

Overview

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

09 November 2020

Mr. Joao Carlos Soares, General Director for Environment, Secretary of State for Environment, at a Handwashing Station in Dili, (European Commission,
Mr. Joao Carlos Soares, General Director for Environment, Secretary of State for Environment, at a Handwashing Station in Dili, (European Commission, "Timor Leste: Strengthening the COVID-19 Response and Promoting Plastic Recycling," 21 August 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/international-partnerships/stories/timor-leste-strengthening-covid-19-response-and-promoting-plastic-recycling_en)

As of 9 November 2020, there had been only 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Timor-Leste. The government has received praise for its effective containment of COVID-19, in the context of a health system that government officials were concerned would not be able to cope with a public health emergency due to its fledgling nature. A state of emergency was initially declared on 28 March. Timorese returning from overseas were subject to mandatory quarantine and quarantine isolation centres were established with the assistance of WHO. IOM also worked with the Ministry of Health to improve quarantine centre standards through the provision of necessary equipment and hygiene supplies.

During the week of 14 September 2020, IOM facilitated the return of 11 Vietnamese migrants from Timor-Leste. 8 men and 3 women were rescued by authorities after drifting at sea for days and landing at Jaco Island on 10 June. The migrants were placed into the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Vietnam, following which, they were assisted by IOM to return to their respective homes. Their return was organised through the Voluntary Returns Support and Reintegration Assistance for Bali Process Member States programme. According to IOM, since the start of the pandemic, 60 people have been assisted in 20 countries with assisted voluntary return through this programme.

Article 72 of Timor-Leste’s 2003 Immigration and Asylum Act provides that foreigners who enter or remain illegally in the national territory can be detained by any police officer for questioning. They must be taken before a competent Court within 48 hours of being detained. To date, the GDP has been unable to establish the extent to which detention facilities are used in Timor-Leste as part of immigration enforcement procedures or obtain details on COVID-19 related measures taken to safeguard people in immigration custody.

Timor-Leste is a signatory of the Refugee Convention and as of December 2015, the country hosted five asylum seekers and refugees. UNHCR has previously criticized Article 92 of the Immigration and Asylum Act, which requires that asylum seekers lodge their application within 72 hours of their arrival in Timor-Leste, for creating hardships and impediments to seeking asylum. In addition, the Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW), in its concluding observations in 2015, expressed concern at the lack of information regarding detention and expulsion measures against migrant workers and members of their families, particularly those in an irregular situation. The committee also expressed concern that “the existing detention facilities do not have adequate basic services, including food, health care and hygienic conditions, and that migrant workers detained for violations of immigration law are not held separately from prisoners.”


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
669
2017
Percentage of foreign prisoners
4
2017
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
56
2017
Population
1,300,000
2020
1,185,000
2015
International migrants
8,417
2019
10,800
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
0.9
2015
Refugees
0
2016
0
2015
Total number of new asylum applications
1
2014
Stateless persons
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
1,169
2014
Remittances to the country
45
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
247
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
133 (Medium)
2015

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2017
Muslim law
2017
Customary law
2017

INTERNATIONAL LAW

International treaty reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
CRSR Article 22 2002
2002
2017
Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2003
2003
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
1/7
2017
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies
Recommendation Year
Committee on Migrant Workers "§32. take the necessary steps 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. in the light of the committee’s general comment no. 2 (2013) on the rights of migrant workers in an irregular situation and members of their families, the committee recalls that administrative detention should only be used as a measure of last resort, and recommends that the state party consider alternatives to administrative detention. the committee also recommends that the state party: (a) include in its second periodic report, detailed disaggregated information on the number of migrant workers detained for immigration offences and the place, average duration and conditions of their detention; (b) provide updated information, including disaggregated statistics, on the number of migrant worker expulsions and the procedures used; (c) ensure that migrant workers detained for violations of immigration law are held in special facilities separate from prisoners, and that men and women are held separately; (d) 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." 2015
2015
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2012
2017
No 2016
2017

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS