Tonga

Detains migrants or asylum seekers?

Rarely

Has laws regulating migration-related detention?

Yes

International Migrants

3,742

2020

Population

100,000

2023

International Migrants as % of Population

3.54%

2020

Overview

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

30 September 2020 – Tonga

In March, Tonga instituted a State of Emergency and shut its borders in order to prevent a domestic outbreak. As with other Pacific-island nations like Palau and Samoa, Tonga remained as of October 2020 one of a small handful of countries that had not reported any COVID-19 cases. Historically, Tonga has not been a destination […]

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Students from the Queen Salote School of Nursing Participate in a Repatriation Drill in June 2020, (Government of the Kingdom of Tonga,
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DETENTION STATISTICS

Total Migration Detainees (Entries + Remaining from previous year)
Not Available
2019

DETAINEE DATA

Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
0
2017

DETENTION CAPACITY

ALTERNATIVES TO DETENTION

ADDITIONAL ENFORCEMENT DATA

PRISON DATA

Criminal Prison Population (Year)
176
2014
163
2013
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
0
2009
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
166
2014
155
2013

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
100,000
2023
106,095
2020
106,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
3,742
2020
3,752
2019
5,700
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
3.54
2020
5.4
2015
Refugees (Year)
0
2016
0
2015
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
4,114
2014
Remittances to the Country (in USD)
114
2014
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
79.9
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
100 (Medium)
2015

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Does the Country Detain People for Migration, Asylum, or Citizenship Reasons?
Rarely
2022
Does the Country Have Specific Laws that Provide for Migration-Related Detention?
Yes
2024
Legal Tradition(s)
Common law
2017

GROUNDS FOR DETENTION

LENGTH OF DETENTION

DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

COSTS & OUTSOURCING

COVID-19 DATA

TRANSPARENCY

MONITORING

NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORING BODIES

NATIONAL PREVENTIVE MECHANISMS (OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO UN CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE)

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (NGOs)

GOVERNMENTAL MONITORING BODIES

INTERNATIONAL DETENTION MONITORING

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES & TREATY BODIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1995
2017
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1972
2017
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1974
2017
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 3/19
Treaty Reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
ICERD Article 5 1972
1972
2017
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
0/2
2017
Relevant Recommendations or Observations Issued by Treaty Bodies
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Committee on the Rights of the Child § 67. "The Committee recommends that the State party, in order to further strengthen the fulfillment of children ’ s rights, consider ratifying the following core human rights instruments: (a) The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; (b) The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; (c) The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women; (d) The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; (e) The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families; (f) The International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance." 2019
2019

> UN Special Procedures

> UN Universal Periodic Review

Relevant Recommendations or Observations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2013
2017
No 2008
2017

> Global Compact for Migration (GCM)

> Global Compact on Refugees (GCR)

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

HEALTH CARE PROVISION

HEALTH IMPACTS

COVID-19

Country Updates
In March, Tonga instituted a State of Emergency and shut its borders in order to prevent a domestic outbreak. As with other Pacific-island nations like Palau and Samoa, Tonga remained as of October 2020 one of a small handful of countries that had not reported any COVID-19 cases. Historically, Tonga has not been a destination for asylum seekers or refugees. There is no national asylum legislation and the country is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention. There is little available information about the treatment of migrants or asylum seekers in immigration enforcement procedures in Tonga. According to the 2020 US Trafficking in Persons Report, there are concerns about the vulnerability of Tongan nationals and foreign individuals to trafficking in Tonga. Since convicting its first trafficker in April 2011, the government has not prosecuted or convicted any trafficking cases. The government has still not developed procedures to proactively identify victims or effectively coordinated anti-trafficking efforts.