The American University in Cairo Center for Migration and Refugee Studies Database
Legal Instruments
Statistics and Figures

  Legal Instruments   

This section provides a list of international conventions and regional/bilateral agreements to which each country is a signatory, as well as national legislation that deals with movement, migration, asylum and human rights. Each listing includes a PDF/ link to a publically accessible document of the convention/law mentioned.
  International Conventions:

General International law 

Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 24 April 1963 (entered into force 19 March 1967) 596 U.N.T.S 261. Ratified 1997



International Criminal Law

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 10 December 1984 (entered into force 26 June 1987) 1465 U.N.T.S 85 [CAT]
Ratified 2014


Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 15 November 2000 (entered into force 15 December 2000) 2237 U.N.T.S 319 [Palermo Protocol] Ratified 2014



United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, 15 November 2000 (entered into force 29 September 2003) 2225 U.N.T.S 209.

Ratified 2014


International Human Rights Law

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 18 December 1979, 1249 U.N.T.S 513 [CEDAW]. Ratified 1995


Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 7 March 1966, 660 U.N.T.S 195 [CERD]. Ratified 2001


Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 November 1989, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3 [CRC]. Signed 1993, Ratified 1994 


International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 16 December 1966, 999 U.N.T.S. 171 [ICCPR].

Ratified 2002


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 December 1966 (entered into force 3 Jan 1976) 993 U.N.T.S. 3 [ICESCR]. Ratified 2001

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, G.A. Res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc. A/810 at 71 (1948). 


International Humanitarian Law/Law of war

Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, 12 August 1949 (entered into force 21 October 1950) 75 U.N.T.S. 31 [First Geneva Convention]. Ratified 2000

Link to Conv.

Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
, 12 August 1949 (entered into force 21 October 1950) 75 U.N.T.S. 85 [Second Geneva Convention].

Ratified 2000

Link to Conv.

Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 12 August 1949 (entered into force 21 October 1950) 75 U.N.T.S. 135 [Third Geneva Convention].

Ratified 2000

Link to Conv.

Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 12 August 1949 (entered into force 21 October 1950) 75 U.N.T.S. 287 [Fourth Geneva Convention]. Ratified 2000

Link to Conv.


International Labor Law


ILO Convention C 111 Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (1958). Ratified 2000

Link to Conv.


ILO Convention C 29 Forced or Compulsory Labour Convention (1932).

Ratified 2000

Link to Conv.

ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration (2005).

Link to Framework


  Regional and Bilateral Agreements:

Regional Agreements

OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, 1001 U.N.T.S. 45 (1969). 
Signed 2012, Ratified N/A

African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (The Kampala Convention) (2009)


  National Legislation:

Nationality Laws 

Eritrean Nationality Proclamation, No. 21 of 1992 sets out the conditions for obtaining an Eritrean nationality

National Service Proclamation of 82 October of 1995 states that an Eritrean citizen eligible for national service may travel abroad, with conditions
Refworld PDF_Eg


Migration and Labor 

Proclamation issued to amend proclamation No. 24 of 1992 regulates the Provision of Travel Documents, the Entry Into and Exit from Eritrea and Residence of Foreigners in Eritrea

Legal notice No. 80/2003 regulates issuing work permit for foreign workers
Refworld UNHCR PDF_Eg

Proclamation No. 127/2002 sets requirement of registration of foreigners who reside, work or engage in Business in Eritrea
Refworld UNHCR PDF_Eg


  Statistics and Figures:   

This section provides links to regularly updated sites that provide statistics on migrants and refugees in different countries around the world.

Below are links to various databases that provide statistics and figures relevant to the movement of people in and out of Eritrea:  

The World Bank 

UNFPA Migration Indicator 

UNHCR Statistics Database  

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre



This section includes a comprehensive list of sources and links to journal articles, books, webpages, etc. for each country in the database that address migration and refugee topics within the context of education, health, legal, psychosocial, political, among others. Each listed source includes a brief description of the material and a link.


Link to Researchers

Berhane, Tewolde “Remittances as a Tool for Development and Reconstruction in Eritrea. An Economic Analysis.” Journal of Middle Eastern Geopolitics 1.2 (2005): 21-33. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

 Keyword: remittances, development, Eritrea, reconstruction, economic

 This study explores ways of expanding and diversifying sources of remittances in relation to economic development and determines mechanisms through which formal and non formal remittances receivers can ration their investment and consumption pattern in the economy. As such, the authors carries out a situational analysis establishing remittances and its impediments at both governmental and community level. 

Berhane, Tewolde. "Migration in Eritrea: A Brief Account." Journal of Middle Eastern Geopolitics (2006): 69-76. 

Keyword: migration, Eritrea, women

This paper provides a general account of Eritrean migrants, their destination countries, reasons for migration, socioeconomic implications of migration on Eritrea. The article draws a special focus on female Eritrean migrants and reasons for their migration. 

Kifleyesus, Abbebe. "Women Who Migrate, Men Who Wait: Eritrean Labor Migration to the Arab Near East." Northeast African Studies 12.1 (2012): 95-127. Link to Journal

Keyword: migrants, Eritrean, women, men, labor, Arab Near East

This article looks at the dynamics of household labor in the context of migration ; discusses paid household work as a structural continuation of unpaid household work across the public sphere; demonstrates how Eritrean women travel through the household worker/housewife boundary in their home country and become family breadwinners, men* s supporters, sources of funding for state projects, and urban property owners by engaging in household work ; and underscores women's agency by articulating their paid household work through the negotiation of the monetary and emotional value of their labor in the Arab Near East. 

 Redeker Hepner, Tricia M. “Generation Nationalism and Generation Asylum: Eritrean Migrants, the Global Diaspora, and the Transnational Nation-State.” Journal of Transnational Studies 18.1 (2015): 184-207. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

 Keyword: nationalism, Horn of Africa, generation, Eritrea, migrants, diaspora, transnational, nation-state

This article focuses on two groups of migrants from Eritrea, the "Generation Nationalism" and "Generation Asylum." The author argues that these two generations of migrants are district from each other and internally cleaved by political affiliation, region of origin, religion, class, and migration route. By applying Mannheim's notion of political generations and Berg and Eckstein's adaption of it to migrant populations, the author explores the distinction between the two generations as they related to the changing Eritrean context and the transnational social field that binds them to one another and to Eritrea arguing that all Eritrean migrants are influenced by pre-migration and migration experiences. 


 Al-Ali, Nadje, Richard Black, and Khalid Koser. "Refugees and Transnationalism: The Experience of Bosnians and Eritreans in Europe." Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies 27.4 (2001): 615-34. Link to Article

Keyword: refugees, transnationalism, Bosnians, Eritreans, Europe

This study incorporates refugees in the study of transnationalism focusing on Eritrean and Bosnians in various European countries. The paper charts the evolution of transnational characteristic among Bosnians and Eritreans and identifies obstacles which influence the desire and capacity of Bosnians and Eritreans to participation in the political, economic, social and cultural transnational activities. The authors observe that transnational activities and identities can flourish among refugees, and as the wars which have drove Bosnians and Eritreans to flee have ended, their transnational activities have moved from political activism to post-conflict reconstruction as their status in their host countries move from temporary exile to permanent exile. conclude by arguing that transnationalism is not a 'state of being', as is sometimes implied by the existing literature, rather transnationalism is a dynamic process. 

Bascom, Johnathan. "The Long, ‘Last Step’? Reintegration of Repatriates in Eritrea.” Journal of Refugee Studies 18.2 (2005): 165-180. Link to Article

Keyword: reintegration, reparation, Eritrea, home

Drawing on primary data gathered from 80 households that repatriated back to Eastern Eritrea from Sudan, this study explores four dimensions of refugee reintegration highlighting challenges to integration that have resulted in keeping returnees in a state of poverty and dependence. Based on this research, the author discusses the problematic nature of reintegration underscoring the contrasts in concepts and perceptions of 'home.' 

Bariagaber, Assefaw. "The Refugee Experience: Understanding the Dynamics of Refugee Repatriation in Eritrea." Journal of Third World Studies 18.2 (2001): 47-70. Link to Article

Keyword: repatriation, Eritrea, refugees, repatriation 

The author argues that conflict cessation is not a sufficient condition for refugee repatriation by highlight the case of  Eritreans return following the cessation of the Eritrean-Ethiopian war in 1991. He further explores the motivations for returning through interviews with former refugees from Eritrea who have either spontaneously repatriated or waited for official repatriation assistance. In making the decision to repatriate, the study argues that refugee repatriation behavior is understood in terms of changing conditions and availability of new information. 

Farwell, Nancy. "‘Onward through Strength’: Coping and Psychological Support among Refugee Youth Returning to Eritrea from Sudan." Journal of Refugee Studies 14.1 (2001): 43-69. Link to Article

Keyword: coping, strategies, refugees, returnees, Eritrea, Sudan 

This paper examines coping strategies and sources of psycho social support employed by young Eritrean refugees repatriating from Sudan who have suffered the trauma of war, flight and exile. These strategies involve a complex interaction of the individual, family and community. 

Gaim, Kibreab. "Access to Economic and Social Rights in First Countries of Asylum and Repatriation: A Case Study of Eritrean Refugees in Sudan." Ed. Lyla Mehta. Forced Displacement Why Rights Matter. Ed. Katarzyna Grabska. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2008. 116-38. Link to Article

Keyword: return, repatriation, Eritrea, Sudan, 

This book chapter examines the extend to which the decision to return is influenced by the political changes in the countries of origins or the extend to which refugees can enjoy access to economic and social rights in countries of asylum. The chapter demonstrates that informal access to social and economic rights plays a major role in the decision of refugees not to return

Magnus, Treiber. "Dreaming of a Good Life Young Urban Refugees from Eritrea between Refusal of Politics and Political Asylum." Ed. Hans Peter Hahn and Georg Klute. Cultures of Migration: African Perspectives. Berlin: LIT Verlag Munster (2007): 239-261.

Keyword: youth, refugees, Eritrea, politics, political asylum

Nakash, Ora, et al. "Exposure to Traumatic Experiences among Asylum Seekers from Eritrea and Sudan during Migration to Israel." Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 4 (2015): 1280. Link to Article

Keyword: trauma, experience, destination, country, migration, Israel, Sudan, Eritrea

This report investigates the prevalence of exposure to traumatic experiences during migration among Eritreans and Sudanese who sought health services in the Physicians for Human Rights Open Clinic in Israel. The research finds that percentages of Eritreans and Sudanese men and women who reported witnessing violence and/or being a victim of violence during migration varied by gender and country of origin. It found that 41.3% Eritrean men and 29.3% Eritrean women have witnessed violence, as compared to 16.8% Sudanese men and 22.2% Sudanese women. In regards to being a victim of violence, 56% Eritrean men and 34.9% Eritrean women were victims of violence, meanwhile 51.9% of Sudanese men and 33.3% of Sudanese women have been in similar situations.  


Campbell, John. “The Enduring Problem of Statelessness in the Horn of Africa: How Nation-States and Western Courts (Re)Define Nationality.” International Journal of Refugee Law 23. 4. (2011): 656–679. Link to Article

Keyword: Ethiopia, Eritrea, border, war, expulsion

“Across Africa, citizenship is being manipulated and restricted to deny rights to those whom a state wishes to marginalize or exclude. This occurred on a large  scale between 1998–2000 when Ethiopia and Eritrea, using war as an excuse, arrested and forcibly expelled an estimated 150,000 people. These individuals were  stripped of their civil and legal rights, their property and, for many, their nationality. While much was made of the expulsions at the time, the wider issues raised by  these actions – in particular the continued vulnerability of the deportees to further abuses and the failure of the courts to address their situation – has not been  examined. This article begins by looking at events in the Horn before examining evidence regarding the inability of those who were expelled to obtain asylum.”


Fullerton, Maryellen. "The Intersection of Statelessness and Refugee Protection in US Asylum Policy." Journal on Migration and Human Security 2.3 (2014): 144-164. Link to Journal

Keyword: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Haile v. Holder, Soviet Union, persecution

This article covers how Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia in 1993 and their border dispute that led to war in 1998 brought about stateless persons and denationalization. 



UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "Global Action Plan to End Statelessness." UN High Commissioner for Refugees (2014). Link to Article 

Keyword: born, gender, protection, documentation 

  “To End Statelessness within 10 years, the Global Action Plan to End Statelessness: 2014-2024 establishes a guiding framework of 10 Actions to be undertaken  by States with the support of UNHCR and other stakeholders to: resolve existing major situations of statelessness, prevent new cases of statelessness from  emerging and better identity and protect stateless populations.”