Vanuatu

Asylum Applications

1

2014

International Migrants

3,257

2020

Population

300,000

2023

International Migrants as % of Population

1.06%

2020

Overview

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

09 October 2020 – 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 […]

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Voters Washing Their Hands Before Casting Ballots in a Polling Station on Malekula Island on 19 March 2020, (The MSG Secretariat,
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DETENTION STATISTICS

Total Migration Detainees (Entries + Remaining from previous year)
Not Available
2019
Reported Detainee Population (Day)
Not Available Not Available
2019

DETAINEE DATA

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

DETENTION CAPACITY

Total Immigration Detention Capacity
0
2019
Immigration Detention Capacity (Specialised Immigration Facilities Only)
0
2019

ALTERNATIVES TO DETENTION

ADDITIONAL ENFORCEMENT DATA

PRISON DATA

Criminal Prison Population (Year)
192
2016
194
2012
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
0.4
2011
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
71
2016
76
2012

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
300,000
2023
300,000
2020
265,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
3,257
2020
3,245
2019
3,200
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
1.06
2020
1.2
2015
Refugees (Year)
0
2015
0
2014
Asylum Applications (Year)
0
2016
0
2015
1
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
0
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Legal Tradition(s)
Civil law
2017
Customary law
2017
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
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2008
2017
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1987
2017
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
2008
2017
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1995
2017
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2011
2017
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1993
2017
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 6/19
Individual Complaints Procedures
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

> UN Special Procedures

> UN Universal Periodic Review

Relevant Recommendations or Observations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2014
2017
No 2009
2017

> Global Compact for Migration (GCM)

> Global Compact on Refugees (GCR)

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

HEALTH CARE PROVISION

HEALTH IMPACTS

COVID-19

Country Updates
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.