The GDP Submits Information Request to the Government of Ethiopia

25 March 2024

Dear Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Service,                 

I am writing to you on behalf of the Global Detention Project, a research organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland that studies the laws and policies concerning the detention of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees worldwide. We are currently conducting a study of policies in the countries of  East  Africa, including Ethiopia, because of the challenges facing the entire region in managing migration, ensuring security, and upholding the rights of all people.

According to the information gathered from various sources, including reports from UNHCR, Ethiopia has a history of hosting a significant number of refugees and maintaining an open-door asylum policy. However, there have been concerns raised about the arbitrary detention of Eritrean refugees and other migrants and asylum seekers, as well as reports highlighting poor conditions within detention facilities. In light of this, we kindly request detailed information on the following: 

  1. A list of detention facilities where migrants, asylum seekers, and non-citizens are currently being detained because of their non-citizen or immigration status. 
  2. The number of people placed in any form of immigration-related detention in 2023 as well as for any other years for which data is available, in addition to data about the numbers of women and children placed in this form of detention. 
  3. Information about the numbers of people deported from the country during 2023 as well as for any other year for which data is available.
  4. Information about the legal framework governing immigration-related detention, including relevant procedures and safeguards in place to protect their rights. We are particularly interested in the application of Proclamation No. 409/2004 in these matters.
  5. Information about conditions and operations in these detention facilities, including access to healthcare and visits by family members, legal representatives, or detention monitoring bodies. 
  6. Any measures  your  office  is  taking to implement relevant recommendations made during Ethiopia’s appraisal at the Universal  Periodic Review in 2019, including:    

163.128 Strengthen measures to ensure equal rights for all ethnic groups, migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons, and persons with disabilities, particularly in the exercise of their right to education, in an inclusive and safe environment (Ecuador);                           

163.276 Ensure the right to education for all children, including children with disabilities refugees, and internally displaced person children, and continue efforts to improve the quality of education (Thailand); 

163.315 Ensure security in refugee camps and the protection of all boys and girls, especially against disappearances and all forms of violence, including sexual violence, and investigate cases of disappearance of children, establish their whereabouts, and punish those responsible (Argentina); 

163.316 Continue efforts  to combat all forms of violence and insecurity among child refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced persons (Morocco)

We would greatly appreciate your cooperation in providing us with the requested information, which will be invaluable to our research efforts. Please let us know if there are any protocols to follow or specific channels through which we should direct our inquiry.


Abdul Aziz Muhamat

Global Detention Project (Geneva, Switzerland)