Syria

Not Available

Immigration detainees

2019

Not Available

Detained children

2017

1,570

New asylum applications

2019

16,213

Refugees

2019

867,848

International migrants

2019

Overview

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

28 January 2021

N. Ahmado, “Syrian Activists Fear COVID-19 Outbreak in Syria's Underground Prisons,” Voice of America, 21 November 2020, https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/syrian-activists-fear-covid-19-outbreak-syrias-underground-prisons
N. Ahmado, “Syrian Activists Fear COVID-19 Outbreak in Syria's Underground Prisons,” Voice of America, 21 November 2020, https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/syrian-activists-fear-covid-19-outbreak-syrias-underground-prisons

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have steadily risen across Syria - in large part because key parties (both regime and opposition) have failed to take adequate steps to protect against the virus. By the end of 2020, 39,728 cases had been reported (11,434 in areas under the control of the regime; 20,270 in areas under the control of the Syrian National Army; and 8,024 in areas under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces). SNHR reports however, that the true number of cases is expected to be far higher due to insufficient testing.

The country’s large population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) - currently estimated to number 6.4 million - is particularly vulnerable to the virus, with many living in overcrowded camps in which social distancing is impossible. In October 2020, a doctor in Idlib told the BBC that COVID was already “out of control” in the region’s IDP camps. “We don’t have many places for people in camps, we don’t have many medikits for this.” As in many areas of Syria, healthcare services in Idlib Governorate have repeatedly been targeted by regime airstrikes - leaving them overwhelmed and underprepared for the new crisis.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been growing concerns over the safety and well being of people incarcerated in the country, including the thousands of Syrians arbitrarily detained during the conflict. In early March, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that an outbreak within prisons would be “catastrophic.” As of August 2020, some 100,000 Syrians remain “disappeared” having been arrested by different parties. A large number are believed to remain within the regime’s network of prisons, which are notorious for their abysmal conditions and widespread and systematic use of torture. “The Syrian Network for Human Rights can confirm that most of the detainees, especially in the four main security branches and military prisons, have a space per person not exceeding 70cm2 in cells that lack any ventilation or the most basic standards of cleanliness.” To-date, the regime has failed to clarify whether it has taken any steps to protect detainees, or to report on the number of COVID cases within its cells. However, in a security leak from Damascus in March 2020, 816 persons in Adra prison were reported to have contracted the virus and 204 were alleged to have died.

Although there is little available information regarding the use of immigration detention in Syria, significant numbers of foreigners are known to be detained in locked camps by authorities in the northeast of the country. Foreign nationals who traveled to join IS, or to live within its “caliphate,” were rounded up by the Syrian Democratic Forces and have since been detained in conditions described by HRW as “filthy and often inhuman and life-threatening.” In June 2020, HRW highlighted the detention of 47 Canadians (including 26 children) in makeshift prisons, and urged Canadian authorities to facilitate their return home and initiate their trial for ISIS-related crimes. In August 2020, the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Al-Hol detention camp, which was holding some 65,000 people at the time.


Last updated:

ENFORCEMENT DATA

Total Detainees/ Stock & Flow (Year)
Not Available
2019
Total Number of Children Placed in Immigration Detention (Year)
Not Available
2017
Criminal Prison Population (Year)
10,599
2004
Percentage of Foreign Prisoners (Year)
7.3
2004
Prison Population Rate (per 100,000 of National Population)
60
2004

POPULATION DATA

Population (Year)
17,500,000
2020
18,502,000
2015
International Migrants (Year)
867,848
2019
875,200
2015
International Migrants as Percentage of Population (Year)
4.7
2015
Refugees (Year)
16,213
2019
18,817
2018
19,429
2017
19,809
2016
21,113
2015
149,140
2014
Ratio of Refugees Per 1000 Inhabitants (Year)
1.07
2016
7.94
2014
New Asylum Applications (Year)
1,570
2019
10,499
2016
1,689
2014
Refugee Recognition Rate (Year)
49.8
2014
Stateless Persons (Year)
160,000
2016
160,000
2015

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DATA & POLLS

Remittances to the Country
1,622
2014
Unemployment Rate
2014
Net Official Development Assistance (ODA) (in Millions USD)
4,198
2014
Human Development Index Ranking (UNDP)
134 (Medium)
2015

B. Attitudes and Perceptions

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LEGAL & REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

GROUNDS FOR MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

LENGTH OF MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION

MIGRATION-RELATED DETENTION INSTITUTIONS

Types of Detention Facilities Used in Practice

PROCEDURAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDS

DETENTION MONITORS

TRANSPARENCY

READMISSION/RETURN/EXTRADITION AGREEMENTS

COVID-19

HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 DATA

INTERNATIONAL TREATIES

International Treaties Ratified
Ratification Year
Observation Date
VCCR, Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
1978
2017
ICERD, International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
1969
2017
ICESCR, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1969
2017
ICCPR, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1969
2017
CEDAW, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
2003
2017
CAT, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
2004
2017
CRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child
1993
2017
CRPD, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2009
2017
ICRMW, International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
2005
2017
CTOCTP, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children
2009
2017
Ratio of relevant international treaties ratified
Ratio: 10/19
Treaty Reservations
Reservation Year
Observation Date
CTOCTP Article 7 2009
2009
2017
CRC Article 14 1993
1993
2017
Individual Complaints Procedures
Acceptance Year
Observation Date
CRPD, Optional Protocol to o the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2009
2009
2017
Ratio of Complaints Procedures Accepted
Observation Date
1/8
2017

NON-TREATY-BASED INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

Relevant Recommendations from the UN Universal Periodic Review
Observation Date
No 2012
2017
No 2016
2017

REGIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

Legal Tradition(s)
Civil law
2017
Muslim law
2017

DETENTION COSTS

OUTSOURCING

FOREIGN SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DETENTION OPERATIONS