Belarus

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2018

Not Available

Detained children

2018

687

New asylum applications

2019

2,725

Refugees

2019

1,069,395

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

13 May 2020

A Person Walking by a Wall of the Centre for Isolation of Offenders (Центр изоляции правонарушителей), (Spring96, www.spring96.org)
A Person Walking by a Wall of the Centre for Isolation of Offenders (Центр изоляции правонарушителей), (Spring96, www.spring96.org)

In response to an information request submitted by the Global Detention Project and the NGO Human Constanta, Belarus Deputy Minister of the Interior Ministry Aleksandr Barsukov confirmed that during the pandemic non-nationals who violate the country’s legislation may continue to face detention and deportation. He wrote, “For foreigners violating the legislation of the Republic of Belarus on the plight of foreign citizens and persons who have taken citizenship, measures are applied in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Administrative Offenses, including deportation.” However, he specified that foreigners stuck in the country for reasons outside their control will be granted stay extensions: “Foreigners who cannot leave the Republic of Belarus for reasons beyond their control, the length of stay is extended.”

Belarus has attracted significant criticism for its slow and limited response to the pandemic, and few official containment measures have been adopted. With President Lukashenko publicly downplaying the pandemic--which he has dismissed as a “psychosis”-- authorities have refused to cancel large public events such as football matches or the country’s Victory Day military parade. Several small measures were, however, adopted with regards to prisons, with authorities suspending visits on 16 March and issuing new guidance on supplies to be delivered to inmates. Reportedly, every 30 days prisoners may receive food packages weighing up to 10kg, but they may only contain items authorities deem necessary for the prevention of respiratory illnesses (specifically: citrus fruits, garlic, onions, and apples).

To date, however, no steps have been taken to release prisoners - or foreign detainees - prompting the United Civic Party to launch a petition in April calling for prisoners to be released. It warned that if measures were not taken, prisons will “turn into mass graves.” Family members of inmates sent an open letter to the president requesting an amnesty bill which will permit the release or reduced sentencing of vulnerable people and those sentenced for non-violent crimes.

On 7 May, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention urged the government to release all children and young people imprisoned for drug-related offences. They called on authorities “to avoid by all means the detention of children, to release those who do not pose a threat to society … which is especially necessary in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Last updated:

ENFORCEMENT DATA

Total Detainees/ Stock & Flow (Year)
Not Available
2018
Reported Population (Day)
Not Available
2018
Countries of Origin (Year)
()
2018
Number of Asylum Seekers Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Not Available
2017
Number of Unaccompanied Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of Accompanied Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of Stateless Persons Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres
0
2018
Immigration Detainees as Percentage of Total Migrant population (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of immigration offices
Not Available
2018
Number of Detainees Referred to ATDs (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of Deportations/Forced Removals (Year)
Not Available
2018
Number of Voluntary Returns & Deportations (Year)
Not Available
2018
Percentage of Removals v. Total Removal Orders (Year)
Not Available
2018
Total Immigration Detention Capacity
Not Available (Not Available)
2018
Immigration Detention Capacity (Specialised Immigration Facilities Only)
0
2018
Number of Transit/Border Detention Facilities
Not Available
2018
Number of Dedicated Immigration Detention Centres
0
2018
Number of Criminal Facilities Used for Immigration Detention
66
2018
Estimated Number of Ad Hoc/Unofficial Facilities
0
2018
Criminal Prison Population (Year)
33,300
2017
29,776
2014
31,700
2012
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
3.1
2015
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
314
2014
335
2012

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
9,400,000
2020
9,496,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
1,069,395
2019
1,082,900
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
11.4
2015
Estimated Undocumented Population (Year)
Not Available (Not Available)
2018
Refugees (Year)
2,725
2019
2,234
2018
2,160
2017
1,632
2016
1,809
2015
925
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
0.17
2016
0.1
2014
New Asylum Applications (Year)
687
2019
762
2016
867
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
5.5
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
6,025
2018
6,007
2017
6,182
2016
6,302
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Gross Domestic Product per Capita (in USD)
8,040
2014
Remittances to the Country
1,258
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
119.6
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
50 (High)
2015
World Bank Rule of Law Index
22 ()
2016
Domestic Opinion Polls on Immigration
n/a
2018
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
Not Applicable
2018

B. Attitudes and Perceptions

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Do Migration Detainees Have Constitutional Guarantees?
Yes (Art.11 Foreign nationals and stateless persons on the territory of Belarus shall enjoy rights and liberties and execute duties on equal terms with the citizens of the Republic of Belarus, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution, the laws and international treaties. Art 25. The State shall safeguard personal liberty, inviolability and dignity. The restriction or denial of personal liberty is possible in the instances and under the procedure specified in law. A person who has been taken into custody shall be entitled to a judicial investigation into the legality of his detention or arrest. No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or undignified treatment or punishment, or be subjected to medical or other experiments without one's consent.) 1994 2004
1994 2018
Detention-Related Legislation
Law N 105-З on Legal status of foreigners and stateless persons in the Republic of Belarus (2010) 2016
2010 2018
Code of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offences (#194-3) (2003) 2018
2003 2018
Additional Legislation
Law of the Republic of Belarus N 354-З “On Granting Refugee Status, Additional Protection, Asylum and Temporary Protection in the Republic of Belarus to Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons” (2008) 2016
2008
The procedural Сode of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offenses, N 194-З (2006) 2018
2006
Regulations, Standards, Guidelines
Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus N 333 "On approval of the Regulations on the procedure for deportation of foreign citizens and stateless persons" (2007)
2007
Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 03.02.2006 N 146 "On approval of the Regulation on the procedure for the expulsion of foreign citizens and stateless persons from the Republic of Belarus and recognition as not valid of certain decisions of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus on the deportation of such persons" (2006)
2006

GROUNDS FOR MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

Immigration-Status-Related Grounds
Detention to establish/verify identity and nationality
2006
Detention to prevent unauthorised entry at the border
2006
Detention to effect removal
2006
Detention for failing to respect a voluntary removal order
2006
Non-Immigration-Status-Related Grounds in Immigration Legislation
None
Criminal Penalties for Immigration-Related Violations
No (No)
2018
Children & Other Vulnerable Groups
Pregnant women (Provided) Yes
2018
Survivors of torture (Not mentioned) Yes
2018
Refugees (Not mentioned) Yes
2018
Victims of trafficking (Not mentioned) Yes
2018
Elderly (Not mentioned) Yes
2018
Asylum seekers (Provided) Yes
2008
Mandatory Detention
Yes (All apprehended non-citizens who do not have proper documentation)
2018
Yes (Non-citizens who have violated a re-entry ban)
2018
Yes (Undocumented non-citizens with criminal records)
2018
Expedited/Fast Track Removal
No
2018
Re-Entry Ban
Yes
2007

LENGTH OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

Maximum Length of Administrative Immigration Detention
Yes ()
2018
Maximum Length in Custody Prior to Detention Order
(3)
2006

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

Custodial Authorities
Departments of State Border Control (State Border Control) Defence
2018
Departments of internal affairs (Ministry of Internal Affairs) Interior or Home Affairs
2018
Departments of the Committee of State Security (Committee of State Security) Interior or Home Affairs
2018
Apprehending Authorities
Departments of the Committee of State Security (Law enforcement, border control and national security) Ministry of Justice
2018
Departments of Internal Affairs (Law enforcement, border control and national security) Ministry of Justice
2018
Departments of State Border Control (Law enforcement, border control and national security) Ministry of Justice
2018
Detention Facility Management
Ministry of Internal Affairs (Governmental)
2018
Formally Designated Detention Estate?
No ()
2018

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

Procedural Standards
Information to detainees (Yes)
2018
Access to asylum procedures (Yes) Yes
2018
Complaints mechanism regarding detention conditions (No) No
2018
Compensation for unlawful detention (No) No
2018
Right to legal counsel (Yes) infrequently
2018
Access to free interpretation services (Yes) Yes
2018
Access to consular assistance (Yes) Yes
2018
Independent review of detention (No) No
2018
Right to appeal the lawfulness of detention (Yes) No
2018
Types of Non-Custodial Measures (ATDs) Provided in Law
Registration (deposit of documents) (No) No
2018
Designated regional residence (No) No
2018
Designated non-secure housing (No) No
2018
Impact of Legal ATDs on Overall Detention Rates
Not applicable ()
2018

DETENTION MONITORS

Types of Authorised Detention Monitoring Institutions
n/a ()
2018
Names of Parliamentary/Congressional Organs That Visit Detention Centres
No
2018

TRANSPARENCY

READMISSION/RETURN/EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS

COVID-19

COVID-19 DATA

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1989
2017
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1969
2017
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1973
2017
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1973
2017
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1981
2017
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
1987
2017
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1990
2017
CRSR, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
2001
2017
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2003
2017
CTOCSP, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
2003
2017
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2016
2016
PCRSR, Protocol to the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
2001
2001
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
Observation Date
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1992
1992
2017
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2004
2004
2017
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
2/6
2017
Relevant Recommendations Issued by Treaty Bodies
Recommendation Year
Observation Date
Committee against Torture Para 53b Refrain from detaining migrants, including minors who may be detained with their relatives, in regular pretrial or temporary detention facilities and provide them with access to a lawyer and other fundamental legal safeguards; 2018
2018
2018

NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Relevant Recommendations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2010
2017
No 2015
2017

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

Legal Tradition(s)
Civil law
2017
Federal or Centralised Governing System
Centralized system
2018
Centralised or Decentralised Immigration Authority
Centralized immigration authority
2018

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS

Foreign Financial Support for Detention Operations
Yes
2018
Description of Foreign Assistance
The project " Assistance to Belarus to handle increased irregular migration" was registered in August 2018. The project is funded by the European Union and is implemented by the International Organization for Migration Office in Belarus in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Border Committee. The budget of the project is €7 million. The project seeks to enable voluntary return of migrants to their homeland without deportation. The border guard service will also receive vehicles to transport migrants. The project provides for the construction of new centers and also renovation of the existing ones.
2018