The GDP Submits Information Request to the Government of Somalia

25 March 2024

Dear Minister of Interior; Immigration Department,

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 Somalia, because of the challenges facing the entire region in managing migration, ensuring security, and upholding the rights of all people.

According to reports that we have received, non-nationals are detained in camps in Puntland, sometimes for prolonged periods–with authorities in the area using checkpoints to stop passing migrants, interrogate them, and detain them. Most of these people are reported to be navigating the migratory route through Somalia and Ethiopia to Sudan and then north to Europe.

In light of this, we kindly request detailed information on the following:

  1. A list of detention facilities in Somalia 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 in 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 detainees’ rights.
  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 Somalia’s appraisal at the Universal Periodic Review in 2021, including:

132.271 Adopt legislative measures to strengthen the protection of the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons (Togo);

132.273 Strengthen cooperation with OHCHR and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to achieve a comprehensive approach to the human rights situation of internally displaced persons, refugees, and stateless persons (Argentina).

132.47 Accede to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness (Cöte d’Ivoire);

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)