Vanuatu

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

3,245

International migrants

2019

300,000

Population

2020

Overview

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

09 October 2020

Voters Washing Their Hands Before Casting Ballots in a Polling Station on Malekula Island on 19 March 2020, (The MSG Secretariat,
Voters Washing Their Hands Before Casting Ballots in a Polling Station on Malekula Island on 19 March 2020, (The MSG Secretariat, "Supporting Observation of a Covid-19 General Elections in Vanuatu," International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2 April 2020, https://www.idea.int/news-media/news/supporting-observation-covid-19-general-elections-vanuatu)

Amidst fears that the country’s healthcare system would be overwhelmed by a Covid-19 outbreak, Vanuatu announced a State of Emergency and closed its borders to all inbound flights and vessels in March. Said one expert, “Their health system is fragile and even a few cases of Covid-19 will overwhelm their health system.” As of early October 2020, the country had not declared any cases of the virus.

In April, the arrival of Cyclone Harold, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Southeast Pacific, resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis on the island. This was further exacerbated by the government’s ban on foreign aid workers from entering the country due to fears that they could bring in coronavirus. In the wake of the cyclone, the government lifted restrictions on domestic air and sea travel to facilitate the movement of aid supplies, but strict international travel restrictions remain in place.

Vanuatu is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention and has not historically received many asylum seekers. In 2013, UNHCR reported that it was aware of two refugees residing in the country, both of whom were awaiting resettlement.

According to the 2020 US Trafficking in Persons Report, there have been cases of labour exploitation of foreigners in the country. In March 2019, authorities arrested four Bangladeshi nationals for their role in a forced labour case involving 101 Bangladeshi nationals. In November that year, the government initiated court proceedings, leading to the first trafficking prosecution in the country’s history. Although the government provided support to some victims, it also forced some to stay in the country for the duration of the prosecution without allowing them to earn an income, increasing their vulnerability to re-trafficking and exploitation. There remains a lack of systematic anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officials and a lack of public awareness campaigns surrounding the issue.

There is little or no information about the use of enforcement measures like arrest and detention in immigration procedures in Vanuatu.


Last updated:

DETENTION, EXPULSION, AND INCARCERATION STATISTICS

Total number of immigration detainees by year
Not Available
2019
Number of immigration detainees on a given day
Not Available
2019
Total number of detained minors
Not Available
2017
Estimated total immigration detention capacity
0
2019
Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
Not Available
2019
Criminal prison population
192
2016
194
2012
Percentage of foreign prisoners
0.4
2011
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
71
2016
76
2012

DEMOGRAPHICS AND IMMIGRATION-RELATED STATISTICS

Population
300,000
2020
265,000
2015
International migrants
3,245
2019
3,200
2015
International migrants as a percentage of the population
1.2
2015
Refugees
0
2015
0
2014
Total number of new asylum applications
0
2016
0
2015
1
2014
Stateless persons
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2017
Common law
2017
Customary law
2017

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 6/19
Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2007
2007
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
1/5
2017
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2009
2017
No 2014
2017

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS