Russian Federation

42,740

Immigration detainees

2015

Not Available

Detained children

2017

8,094

New asylum applications

2019

42,413

Refugees

2019

11,640,559

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

Related Reading

24 July 2020

Uzbek Nationals Waiting Outside Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow Hoping to Buy Tickets for an Evacuation Flight, (Sergey Ponomarev,
Uzbek Nationals Waiting Outside Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow Hoping to Buy Tickets for an Evacuation Flight, (Sergey Ponomarev, "For Migrants in Russia, Virus Means No Money to Live and No Way to Leave," New York Times, 15 June 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/world/europe/russia-coronavirus-migrant-workers.html)

Since issuing a moratorium on new detention orders on 18 April (Decree of the President of Russia No.2745) (see 18 April update), Russia has reportedly not issued any new detention orders. This was confirmed by the Civic Assistance Committee and Memorial in a GDP survey on 21 July. The organisations also noted that some foreign nationals awaiting deportation have been released – including 125 people who were released following successful petitions by the two organisations. Of the 253 cases presented by the organisations, those who were granted release were foreign nationals and stateless persons who were able to stay with Russian citizens or who owned property in the country. (Despite important legal rulings such as that of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Kim v Russia (2014), which called on Russia to take steps to protect stateless persons against detention, Russia continues to detain this vulnerable population. Once released, they are not issued documents that allow them to legally reside in Russia, leaving them vulnerable to re-detention.)

The Civic Assistance Committee and Memorial also note that deportations to countries such as Uzbekistan and Tajikistan—both important migrant-sending countries—have been temporarily halted.

Russia has long been home to large numbers of migrant workers—with a significant proportion hailing from Central Asia. Earning considerably less than Russian citizens, many are forced to live in overcrowded dormitories, which police have locked down if just one resident contracts the virus. During the pandemic, some 40 percent are reported to have permanently lost their jobs, leaving them reliant upon NGO and embassy assistance. With flights suspended, many have been forced to wait in airports or queue outside their embassies in the hope of a charter flight back to their country of origin. According to the New York Times, prior to the pandemic more than 15 flights left each day to various cities in Uzbekistan, but as of 15 June there were only two charter flights a week and the Uzbek embassy’s waiting list included more than 80,000 names.


18 April 2020

On 18 April, President Putin signed a decree “On Temporary Measures to Resolve the Legal Situation of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons in the Russian Federation in Connection with the Threat of Further Spread of the new Coronavirus Infection Covid-19.” This new decree provides that the period from 15 March until 15 June 2020 will not be included in the period of temporary stay or temporary residence in Russia for foreign nationals and stateless persons, or in their registration period if it expires. This also applies to the time limit set for foreign nationals and stateless persons to leave Russia voluntarily if they are subject to administrative expulsion, deportation, or extradition. Further, no decisions will be made during this window regarding the undesirability of foreign citizens’ and stateless persons’ stay (residence), administrative expulsion, deportation or extradition to a foreign state in accordance with international readmission agreements, deprivation of refugee status, temporary asylum, work permits, and temporary residence permits. The decree also provides that during this time period, employers may hire foreign citizens and stateless persons who do not have permission to work in the country.

While authorities have ceased the detention of foreigners and stateless persons, many immigration detention facilities remain overcrowded. With no flights and no expulsions, detainees are forced to remain confined in facilities that lack appropriate health care provision and poor sanitation. As Human Rights Watch noted in a statement issued on 16 April, an estimated 8,000 people - including families with children - are effectively being held in indefinite detention. “Russian authorities should provide safe and dignified alternatives to migration detention for people facing deportation or court-mandated expulsion. They should also improve access to healthcare and ensure social distancing and other measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Russia’s migration detention centers.”


02 April 2020

Russia has taken some steps to limit immigration detainee populations. At the same time, it has taken draconian measures that have severely increased the vulnerability of thousands of migrant workers and other foreigners residing in the country.

According to ADC Memorial, the government has prohibited the placement of new people in detention centres, and instead only imposes fines for violations of migration laws. It has also permitted people to prolong their documents/permission to stay in the country. In an email to the Global Detention Project, the NGO reported that there is still severe overcrowding in some facilities, including in particular the St.Petersburg detention centre, where “people sleep on the floor on mattresses or live in the corridor on beds.” They say that the facility has reportedly sought to negotiate with the court to investigate ways to possibly reduce the population.

On 29 March 2020, human rights activists called on authorities to release migrants from the country’s detention centres. The Civic Assistance Committee published a joint letter in which they urged the state to release detainees. With no available flights, those in detention face an uncertain wait, with no date in sight for their release. On 31 March, the Sverdlovsk Regional Court overturned the expulsion of an Azerbaijani citizen, and found that the individual could no longer be detained in a SUVSIG due to the inability to deport. The judge stated: “Detention for an indefinite period of time is unacceptable, as this may become a form of punishment that is not provided for by the provisions of the legislation of the Russian Federation and which is incompatible with the provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.”

When international attention was first alerted to the crisis unfolding in Wuhan, Moscow authorities not only temporarily barred many categories of Chinese nationals from entering the country, but also initiated raids on homes, hotels, businesses, and public transport in an effort to track down Chinese nationals and enforce quarantine measures. Those found to be violating such measures were issued expulsion orders or fined heavily. According to one Novaya Gazeta report, authorities went so far as to make phone calls to Chinese nationals ordering them to leave quarantine in order to attend medical tests or visa appointments, only to apprehend them and issue fines. On 29 February, some 80 Chinese nationals were reported to be facing deportation for violating quarantine measures.

Hundreds or even thousands of migrant workers have been stranded in airport transit zones in airports across Russia after the country cancelled flights to many of their home countries, including in particular those from Central Asia. On 1 April, Moscow Times reported that 300 Central Asian migrants were evicted from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport overnight, having been stranded in the airport for weeks. Reportedly, they had been provided with some basic supplies while in the airport, but after this, as one Tajik migrant explained, “we were simply kicked out on the street at night in the cold.”


Last updated:

IMMIGRATION AND DETENTION-RELATED STATISTICS

Total number of immigration detainees by year
42,740
2015
37,522
2014
14,504
2012
12,481
2011
13,638
2010
Number of immigration detainees on a given day
Not Available
2018
Top nationalities of detainees
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
2015
Number of persons granted alternatives to immigration detention
89,192
2015
Total number of detained minors
Not Available
2017
Estimated total immigration detention capacity
Not Available
2018
Percentage of persons removed in relation to total number of people placed in removal procedures
0.12
2010
Criminal prison population
622,079
2017
675,000
2014
Percentage of foreign prisoners
4.3
2015
4.2
2009
Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population)
430
2017
470
2014
Population
145,900,000
2020
146,880,432
2018
143,457,000
2015
International migrants
11,640,559
2019
11,651,500
2017
11,643,300
2015
11,195,000
2010
International migrants as a percentage of the population
8.1
2017
8.1
2015
Refugees
42,413
2019
77,397
2018
126,035
2017
228,936
2016
314,507
2015
235,750
2014
Ratio of refugees per 1000 inhabitants
1.6
2016
1.64
2014
Total number of new asylum applications
8,094
2019
26,326
2016
274,744
2014
Refugee recognition rate
4.7
2014
Stateless persons
75,679
2018
82,148
2017
90,771
2016
113,474
2015
Number of detained asylum seekers
Number of detained unaccompanied minors
Number of detained accompanied minors
Number of detained stateless persons
Number of apprehensions of non-citizens
Immigration detainees as a percentage of total international migrant population
Number of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
Estimated capacity of dedicated long-term immigration detention centres
Number of dedicated medium-term immigration detention centres
Number of immigration offices
Number of transit facilities
Number of criminal facilities
Number of ad hoc facilities
Number of persons removed/returned (voluntary returns and deportations)
Number of deportations/forced returns only
Estimated number of undocumented migrants

SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Gross Domestic Product per capita (in USD)
12,735
2014
Remittances to the country
7,115
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
50 (High)
2015
Pew Global Attitudes Poll on Immigration
72
2007
Remittances from the country
Unemployment rate amongst migrants
Net official development assistance (ODA) (in millions USD)
Detention for deterrence
Immigration Index Score
World Bank Rule of Law Index
Domestic Opinion Polls on Immigration

DOMESTIC LAWS AND POLICIES

Legal tradition
Civil law
2016
Constitutional guarantees?
Yes (The Constitution of the Russian Federation, Article 22(2)) 1993
1993
Core pieces of national legislation
Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 12/30/2013 N 1306 (as amended on 06/17/2016) on the approval of the Rules for keeping (stay) in special institutions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation or its territorial body of foreign citizens and stateless persons subject to administrative expulsion from the Russian Federation in the form of forced expulsion from the Russian Federation, deportation or readmission (Постановление Правительства РФ от 30.12.2013 N 1306 (ред. от 17.06.2016) Об утверждении Правил содержания (пребывания) в специальных учреждениях Министерства внутренних дел Российской Федерации или его территориального органа иностранных граждан и лиц без гражданства, подлежащих административному выдворению за пределы Российской Федерации в форме принудительного выдворения за пределы Российской Федерации, депортации или реадмиссии) (2012) 2016
2012
Law on Refugees (as amended by Federal Law of June 28, 1997 N 95-FZ) (as amended on July 31, 2020), (О беженцах (в редакции Федерального закона от 28 июня 1997 года N 95-ФЗ) (с изменениями на 31 июля 2020 года) (1997) 2020
1997
Code of the Russian Federation on Administrative Offences of 30 December 2001 N°195-FZ (as amended on July 31, 2020) (as amended and supplemented, entered into force on August 11, 2020), ("Кодекс Российской Федерации об административных правонарушениях" от 30.12.2001 N 195-ФЗ (ред. от 31.07.2020) (с изм. и доп., вступ. в силу с 11.08.2020)) (2001) 2020
2001
Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation (О Правовом Положении Иностранных Граждан В Российской Федерации) (2002)
2002
Law of the Russian Federation On the State Border of the Russian Federation (Закон РФ "О Государственной границе Российской Федерации" от 01.04.1993 N 4730-1) (1993) 2007
1993
Additional legislation
Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation, No. 195-FZ of 30 December 2001 (2001) 2012
2001
Civil Procedural Code of the Russian Federation, No. 138-FZ of 14 November 2002 (2002) 2012
2002
The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, No. 63-FZ of 13 June 1996 (1996) 2012
1996
Immigration-status-related grounds
Detention for unauthorised entry or stay
2015
Does the country provide specific criminal penalties for immigration-related violations?
Yes (Yes)
1996
Grounds for criminal immigration-related detention/incarceration and maximum potential duration of incarceration
Unauthorized entry (730)
1996
Unauthorized exit (730)
1996
Has the country decriminalized immigration-related violations?
No
1996
Maximum length for administrative immigration detention in law.
720
2018
Provision of basic procedural standards
Independent review of detention (No)
2016
Right to legal counsel () No
2016
Is the detention of vulnerable persons provided in law? Are they detained in practice?
Accompanied minors (Provided) Yes
2018
Unaccompanied minors (Provided) Yes
2018
Stateless persons (Provided) Yes
2018
Persons with disabilities (Not mentioned) Yes
2018
Asylum seekers (Prohibited) Yes
2018
Stateless persons () Yes
2015
Accompanied minors (Provided)
2015
Asylum seekers (Prohibited) Yes
2013
Mandatory detention
Yes (Non-citizens who have violated a re-entry ban)
2016
Yes ()
2016
Yes ()
2016
Expedited/fast track removal
Yes
2016
Re-entry ban
Yes
2016
Regulations, standards, guidelines
Non-immigration-status-related grounds providing for administrative detention in immigration legislation.
Longest recorded instance of immigration detention.
Maximum length of time in custody prior to issuance of a detention order
Average length of detention
Maximum length of detention for asylum-seekers
Maximum length of detention for persons detained upon arrival at ports of entry
Types of non-custodial measures
Impact of alternatives

INTERNATIONAL LAW

Individual complaints procedure
Acceptance Year
ICERD, declaration under article 14 of the Convention 1991
1991
ICCPR, First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966 1991
1991
CEDAW, Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 1999 2004
2004
CAT, declaration under article 22 of the Convention 1991
1991
Ratio of complaints procedures accepted
Observation Date
4/7
2017
Regional legal instruments
Year of Ratification (Treaty) / Transposed (Directive) / Adoption (Regulation)
CPCSE, Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse 2013
2013
ECPT, European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment 1998
1998
ECHRP1, Protocol 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 1998
1998
ECHRP7, Protocol 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights (amended by protocol 11) 1998
1998
ECHR, Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (commonly known as the European Convention on Human Rights 1998
1998
Bilateral/multilateral agreements linked to readmission
Year in Force
Observation Date
Austria 2005
2005
2017
Austria 2011
2011
2017
Belgium 2010
2010
2017
Bulgaria 2012
2012
2017
Cyprus 2011
2011
2017
Czech Republic 2012
2012
2017
Denmark 2011
2011
2017
Estonia 2011
2011
2017
Germany 2012
2012
2017
Finland 2013
2013
2017
France 2010
2010
2017
Greece 2004
2004
2017
Hungary 2011
2011
2017
Italy 2011
2011
2017
Latvia 2009
2009
2017
Lithuania 2003
2003
2017
Lithuania 2012
2012
2017
Luxembourg 2013
2013
2017
Malta 2011
2011
2017
Poland 1961
1961
2017
Poland 2013
2013
2017
Portugal 2013
2013
2017
Romania 2012
2012
2017
Slovakia 2010
2010
2017
Slovenia 2012
2012
2017
Spain 2011
2011
2017
Sweden 2012
2012
2017
Netherlands 2011
2011
2017
Norway 2012
2012
2017
Switzerland 2011
2011
2017
Armenia 2011
2011
2017
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2016
2016
2017
Belarus 2014
2014
2017
Moldova 2011
2011
2017
Serbia 2015
2015
2017
Ukraine 2013
2013
2017
Turkey 2011
2011
2017
Kazakhstan 2015
2015
2017
Kyrgyzstan 2013
2013
2017
Mongolia 2014
2014
2017
Uzbekistan 2014
2014
2017
Viet Nam 2009
2009
2017
EU 2007
2007
2017
Relevant recommendations of the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2009
2017
No 2013
2017
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
International treaty reservations
Treaty bodies decisions on individual complaints
Relevant recommendations issued by treaty bodies
Regional treaty reservations
Regional judicial decisions on individual complaints
Recommendations issued by regional human rights mechanisms
Visits by special procedures of the Human Rights Council
Relevant recommendations by UN Special Procedures

INSTITUTIONAL INDICATORS

Federal or centralized governing system
Federal system
2016
Centralized or decentralized immigration authority
Centralized immigration authority
2016
Custodial authority
The General Administration for Migration Issues (The Ministry of Internal Affairs) Internal or Public Security
2018
(Federal Migration Service) Immigration or Citizenship
2016
(Federal Migration Service) Immigration or Citizenship
2013
(Ministry for Internal Affairs) Interior or Home Affairs
2013
Police () Internal or Public Security
2013
(Federal Migration Service)
2008
(Federal Migration Service)
2008
Apprehending authorities
Police (Police)
2018
Federal Security Service (FSB) (Law enforcement, border control and national security)
2018
Detention Facility Management
Police (The Administration