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 1995



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]. Signed 1986

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.

Signed 2000, Ratified 2004



Slavery Convention, 25 September 1926 (entered into force 7 July 1955), 60 L.N.T.S. 253.

Ratified 1957 PDF


International Human Rights Law 

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

Ratified 1977



Convention on the Rights of the Child, G.A. 44/25, Treaty Series, Vol. 1577, p. 3 (1990).
Signed 1990, Ratified 1990

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

Ratified 1986


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 1986



Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/217 A (III), 10 December 1948, Art 14. [UDHR].



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 1957

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 1957

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 1957

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 1957

Link to Conv.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 8 June 1977 (entered into force Dec. 7, 1978.) 1125 U.N.T.S. 3 [Protocol I].

Ratified 2006

Link to Protocol.

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, 8 June 1977 (entered into force 7 December 1978) 1125 U.N.T.S. 609 [Protocol II].

Ratified 2006
Link to Protocol


International Labor Law

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

Ratified 1070

Link to Conv.

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

Ratified 1957 Link to Conv.

ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration (2005).

Link to Framework


International Refugee Law 

Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 28 July 1951, 189 U.N.T.S. 150. [Refugee Convention].

Ratified 1974

Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, 4 October 1967, 606 U.N.T.S. 267. [Refugee Protocol]
Ratified 1974
Link to Protocol

  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 1969, Ratified 1972

The Framework Agreement on the Status of Nationals of the Other State and Related Matters between Sudan and South Sudan (2012).

Irregular Migration & Readmission Agreements 

None Currently listed


Labor Agreements

Labor Agreement between Qatar and Sudan governing Sudanese workers in Qatar (2011)

Agreement on Freedom of Movement, Residence, Work and Property Ownership between the Governments of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Sudan (2004).

Exchange of Labor agreement between Sudan and Egypt (2002).

Agreement between Sudan and Egypt on exchange of labor (1969)


Social Security Agreements

Cooperation Agreement between Egypt and Sudan in the Field of Insurance and Welfare and Social Development (2002).

Agreement on Social Security between Egypt and Sudan (1975)

Agreement between the UK and Sudan on pensions (1973)


Other Relevant Agreements 

Agreement on Freedom of Movement, Residence, Work and Property Ownership between the Governments of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Sudan (2004).

  National Legislation:

Sudanese Nationals 

Article 23 of the Interim National Constitution of 2005 indicates that every citizen has the right to move and reside freely and the right to leave his own country in accordance to the law
PDF_EgLink to Constitution_Ar

Article 14 of the Labor Law of 1997 requires a permit from the Ministry of Labor from Sudanese seeking employment abroad  from the Ministry of Labor

Law of 1926 on Marrying non-Muslims 
Link to Law

Law of 1959 on marriages between Sudanese and Non-Sudanese students and employees in Sudan 
Link to Law

Sudanese Nationality Act of 1994
Link to Law


Migration and Labor 

Passport and Immigration Act (No. 40) of 1960
(PDF is currently unavailable. Act can be found in Sudan's Al Jarida Al Rasmiya, dated November 15, 1960, No. 952, pg. 178-191). 

Passports and Immigration Act of 1994  deals with legal consequences and regulation regarding informal, illegal entry into the county. It also regulates 'transit migration' as an illegal form of migration
PDF_Eg; Link to Law;

Domestic Servants Act of 1955 regulates the employment relationship between employers and domestic servants. It repeals the Domestic Servants Ordinance of 1921

The Act on the Employment of Non-Sudanese of 2000 regulates employment of non-Sudanese in the public, private and mixed sectors, and demands non- Sudanese nationals to obtain a work permit from the Ministry of labor
Link to Law


Rights and Entitlements 

 Law of 1982 on funds for refugees
Link to Law

Law of 2009 on Human Rights National comission
Link to Law

Smuggling and Trafficking 

Combating Human Trafficking Act of 2014
PDF_EgPDF_ArLink to Act

2001 Anti-Terrorism law
Link to Law

Law of 2014 on combating money laundering and funding of terrorist organizations 
Link to Law




  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 Sudan:  

The World Bank 

UNHCR Statistics Database

The Displacement Tracking Matrix of the International Organization for Migration 

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

 Berridge,W. J. "Nests of Criminals: Policing in the Peri-Urban Regions of Northern Sudan, 1964-1989." Journal of North African Studies 17.2 (2012): 239-255. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

Keyword: criminals, policing, security, Northern Sudan, Peri-urban region

This article focuses on the strategies adopted by the Sudanese police in dealing with migration from Sudan's rural peripheries to the central urban riverain areas of Sudan, in particular Khartoum. The author argues that the police policies in these regions, illustrate the limited governmental ambitions of the Sudanese state and its inability and unwillingness to individuate its population; reinforce the divide between the centers and peripheries of Sudanese society; treat the outskirts of Khartoum as if they represent a national border; and control the burgeoning shanty towns using collective and arbitrary methods. The author concludes with arguing that the police are never fully successful in imposing the divide between center and periphery, as is seen in their increasing reliance on recruiting migrants from rural peripheries. 

Brown, Richard P.C. "Migrants' Remittances, Capital Flight, And macroeconomic Imbalance in Sudan's Hidden Economy." Journal of African Economies 1.1 (1992): 86-108. Link to Article

 Keyword: migrant, remittances, capital flight, macroeconomic, imbalance, Sudan, informal, hidden, Shadow, economy 

Based on a survey data on Sudanese migrants abroad, this paper examines the implications of migration to the Gulf, the spread of the parallel economy and capital flight have on Sudan's economy. The study finds that the revised macroeconomic aggregates incorporating the unrecorded international financial flows and domestic transactions associated with these processes give a different picture of Sudan's economic imbalance and the nature of its microeconomics processes. 

Ebaidalla, Ebaidalla Mahjoub, and Abdalla Ali Edriess. "Flow of Migrants' Remittances into Sudan: The Role of Macroeconomic Environment." Middle East Development Journal 7.1 (2015): 70-88. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

Keyword: migrants, remittances, Sudan, macroeconomic, environment

This article investigates the role of macroeconomic environment in attracting migrants' remittances to Sudan. The study employs autoregressive distributed lag approach to cointegration, impulse response functions, and variance decomposition techniques. The results indicate that macroeconomic policy variables can encourage the flow of remittances via formal channels and that foreign income exerts positive and significant effects on remittances. On the other hand, the inflation rate and the black market exchange rate premium have a negative effect on remittances in both short and long run, and home income variable discourage the flow of remittances. 

Mugaddan, Abdel Rahim Hamid. "Language Maintenance and Shift in Sudan: The Case of Migrant Ethnic Groups in Khartoum." International Journal of the Sociology of Language 2006.181 (2006): 123-136. Link to Article

Keyword: language maintenance, shift, Sudan migrant, ethnic groups, Khartoum

This study investigates the process  of language maintenance and language shift among ethnic minority groups residing in Khartoum, Sudan. The study finds that considerable number of young generation migrants adopted Arabic as their primary language, and while showing a positive attitude to their ethnic languages, the participants did not make any efforts to maintain them. 

Rahamtalla, Nawal Mohamed, and Awadalla Mohamed Saeed. "Gender Analysis of the Impacts of Displacement on Western Sudanese Migrants in Khartoum State, Sudan." Ahfad Journal 26.2 (2009): 15-32. Link to Article

Keyword: gender, women, analysis, displacement, western Sudanese migrants, Sudan 

This paper provides an assessment of the socioeconomic implications of displacement on Western Sudanese migrants in Khartoum State by identifying different causes for migration and assessing the implications of population displacement on agricultural production in the rural area of origin and socioeconomic conditions of displaced families. The authors employ a participatory approach interviewing households in IDP camps. The study found that decisions to migrate to Khartoum state is collective-families were forced to leave because of droughts and resource scarcity. The forced migrants abandoned their farmland. However, mainly men were able to return for seasonal cultivation while women were found to be landless. 


Beswick, Stephanie. "If You Leave Your Country You Have No Life!" Rape, Suicide, and Violence: The Voices of Ethiopian, Somali, and Sudanese Female Refugees in Kenyan Refugee Camps." Northeast African Studies 8.3 (2001). Link to Article

Keyword: rape, suicide, violence, sexual violence, mental health, physical security, Kenyan, Somali, Sudanese, female, women, refugees

This paper gives voices to women from three conflict zones-Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan-who are residing in Kenyan refugee camps up to 2011. The author observes that women fleeing conflicts face equally violence trauma in foreign lands commonly subjected to rapes, beatings and murder. The author attributes these attacks to the changes in the relationships between women and men of the same country in foreign land, as well as the collapse of legal and societal rules and laws that prevail in the home country.

Humphris, Rachel. "Refugees and the Rashaida: Human Smuggling and Trafficking From Eritrea to Sudan and Egypt." UNHCR. 2013. PDF

Keywords: refugees, Rashaida, smuggling, human, trafficking, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt 

This paper focuses on the movement of people from Eritrea to East Sudan, through the Sinai desert to reach Israel. First, it provides a background on the motivations and aspirations to leave Eritrea, followed by the role of smugglers, especially Rashaida of East Sudan arguing that participating in the network of human smuggling is a product, and not a cause, of instability in the region. Finally, the paper concludes with challenges and recommendations. 

Kebbede, Girma. "The Agonies of Displacement: Ethiopian Women Refugees in Khartoum, Sudan." GeoJournal 22.2 (1999): 99-106Link to Article

Keyword: displacement, Ethiopian women, refugees, Khartoum, Sudan 

Based on 77 randomly selected women refugees in Khartoum in 1988, this paper focuses on the circumstances, lives, challenges and the perspective of Ethiopian women refugee in Khartoum, Sudan. The study finds that these women endure many hardships, including obtaining livelihoods and physical and psychological abuse. The author argues that international law and national laws do not sufficiently protect women.

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 17.4 (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. 

Weaver, Jerry L. " Searching for Survival: Urban Ethiopian Refugees in Sudan." The Journal of Developing Areas 22.4 (1988): 457-476. Link to Article

Keyword: survival, urban Ethiopian, refugees, Sudan

In an attempt to shed the light on Ethiopian refugees residing in urban areas in Sudan, a year-long study in 1984 was conducted to examines the conditions and characteristics of urban refugees, their livelihood methods, and their implications on their host society. Observational data was collected in four major cities and complemented by detailed socioeconomic information obtained from sample of over 1,000 refugee families living in Khartoum, Sudan. 

Weaver, Jerry L. "Sojourners Along the Nile: Ethiopian Refugees in Khartoum." The Journal of Modern African Studies 23.1 (1985) 147-156. Link to Article

Keyword: Ethiopian refugees, Khartoum

This paper is based on a study of 1,012 Ethiopian refugee households that examines their livelihoods methods and contributions to their host society. The study finds that a mixture of forced drove these refugees out of their homeland and concludes with arguing that their economic potential to their host community is under-utilized. 


Vol. 22, No. 4 (Jul., 1988), pp. 457-476

Sanderson, Mike. "Statelessness and Mass Expulsion in Sudan: A Reassessment of the International Law." Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights 12.1 (2014) Link to Article

Keyword: denationalization, human rights, ethnic groups, international law 

This article focuses on the statelessness that has come since the succession of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011. 


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.”