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 1964



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 1987, Ratified,1998

Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 15 November 2000 (entered into force 15 November 2000) 2241 U.N.T.S. 507 [Palermo Protocol].

Signed 2000, Ratified 2003


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]

Signed 2000, Ratified 2003


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 2003


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

Ratified 1966


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].

Signed 1980, Ratified 1985


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

Signed 1966, Ratified 1967



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

Signed 1990, Ratified 1992


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

Ratified 2011



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

Signed 1968, Ratified 1969



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

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

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


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].

Signed 1977, Ratified 1979

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].

Signed 1977, Ratified 1979

Link to Protocol

International Labor Law

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

Ratified 1959

Link to Conv.

ILO Convention C 29 Forced or Compulsory Labour Convention (1932). Ratified 1962 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 1957

Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, 28 Sept 1954 (entered into force 6 June 1960) 360 U.N.T.S. 117 [Stateless Persons’ Convention].
Ratified 1969

Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugee, G.A. Treaty Series, Vol. 606, p. 267 (1967). 
Ratified 1968

Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, 4 October 1967, 606 U.N.T.S. 267. [Refugee Protocol]
Ratified 1968
Link to Protocol


International Trade Law

General Agreement on Trade in Services, 15 April 1994  (entered into force 01 January 1995), L336, p. 191 [GATS].


Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) (Movement of Natural Persons), 16 October, 1995 (entered into force 26 July 1996), L167, P. 43 [Protocol III]


  Regional and Bilateral Agreements:

Regional Agreements 

OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (1969). 
Signed 1969, Ratified 1989

Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Tunisia, of the other part (1998). Title VI contains provisions relating to workers, social dialogue and social cooperation. Published in the Council and Commission Decision of 26 January 1998. PDF_Eg (1) PDF_Eg (2); PDF_Fr (1) PDF_Fr (2)

African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (The Kampala Convention) (2009).
Signed 2012

Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Adopted by the 2nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, Maputo (2005). 
Signed 2003

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1999).
Signed 1999, Ratified 2003
Link to Charter.
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and People's Rights (1989).
Signed 1999, Ratified 2003
Link to Charter.

African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (1986).
Signed 1986, Ratified 1987

OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (1969). 
Signed 1969, Ratified 1974

Protocol for the Treatment of Palestinians in Arab States, League of Arab State (1965).
Link to protocol_Eg


Irregular Migration & Readmission Agreements

Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Swiss Confederation and the Government of the Republic of Tunisia in the field of migration (2014).


Labor Agreements 

Agreement between the Government of the Swiss Confederation and the Government of the Republic of Tunisia on the exchange of young professionals (2014). 

Bilateral Agreement on Labor exchange between the Government of Syria and the Government of Tunisia (2004).
PDF_FrPDF_Ar pg 1364

Amendment to the Agreement of 17 March 1988, as amended by the Agreement of 19 December 1991 between the Government of the Republic of Tunisia and the Government of the French Republic on residence and work (2004). PDF_Ar pg 787-789; PDf_Fr pg 771-773

Agreement between the Government of the French Republic and the Government of the Republic of Tunisia concerning the exchange of young professionals (2003). PDF_Ar pg 1014; PDF_Fr pg 1014


Social Security Agreements

Convention on Social Security between the Kingdom of Belgium and the Tunisian Republic (2013). 
PDF_Fr pg 45-73

Convention between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Tunisia on Family Allowances (1991).
PDF_Gr 642PDF_FrPDF_Ar pg 178

Social Security Agreement between the States of the Arab Maghreb Union (1991) 


Other Relevant Agreements

Cooperation Agreement between Tunis and Qatar on criminal matters (2012)
Link to Agreement_Arabic 

Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Tunisia and the UNHCR (2011).
PDF_Ar pg 2034

Mobility Partnership between the EU and Tunisia governing migration flows (2014).
Eg. Press Release

  National Legislation:

Tunisian Nationals 

 Decree No. 89-107 of 10 January 1989 extends the social security system to Tunisian workers abroad
PDF_Ar pg 0097 - 0099PDF_Fr pg 0098 - 0099

Law No. 83-111 of 1983 establishes the Agency for the Promotion of Vocational Training and the Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Tunisian Workers Abroad
PDf_Ar pg 4321 - 4322PDF_Fr pg 3207 - 3208

Law No. 73-8 of 31/01/1973: amending Law No. 67-11 of 8 March 1967 and creating the Office of Tunisian Workers Abroad, Employment and Vocational Training (1) PDF_Ar 210-211PDf_Fr 186


Migration and Labor

 Decree No. 2014-1930 of 30 April 2014 establishes the National Observatory on Migration and laying down its administrative and financial organization. The institutions is responsible for observing the phenomenon of migration, collecting information and related data at the national and international level
PDF_Fr pg 1479 - 1483PDF_Ar pg 1235-1238

Decree No. 2012-1860 of 11 September 2012 on the organization of the State Secretariat for Migration and Tunisians abroad
PDF_Ar pg 2505 - 2507PDF_Fr pg 2197 - 2199

 Decree No. 2012-634 of 8 June 2012 on the creation of the State Secretariat for Immigration and Tunisians Abroad in the Ministry of Social Affairs and setting out its terms of reference
PDF_Ar pg 1697 - 1698PDF_Fr pg 1501

Decree No. 1968-198 of 22 June 1968 regulates the entry and residence of foreigners in Tunisia
Link to Decree

Law No. 1968-0007 of 8 March 1968 includes provisions on the conditions of aliens in Tunisia
Link to Law 

Decree no. 88-53 of 1988 on the recruitment of foreign labor by fulling exporting industrial enterprises 
PDF_Ar 089PDF_Fr 089


Rights and Entitlements of Foreign Nationals 

Decree of 20/06/1957 on fixing the chancery duties paid by refugees and stateless persons PDF_Ar pg 1024PDF_Fr pg 764


Smuggling and Trafficking

Law n. 2008-34 of 2008 on smuggling  PDF_Ar pg 2148-2149



  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 Tunisia:  

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

 Baldwin-Edwards, Martin. "'Between a Rock & and Hard Place': North Africa as a Region of Emigration, Immigration & Transit Migration." Review of African Political Economy 33.108 (2006): 311-324. Link to Article 

Keyword: North Africa, emigration, immigration, transit migration, policy, irregular, movement 

This article describes migration through North Africa, North Africa immigration policies, as well as the failed EU securitization policies that, as the author argues, neglects the fundamental realities of Africa as a new continent of emigration. In this regard, the author further argues that EU polices promote human rights abuses of Africa irregular migrants yet welcomes skilled African migrant. As such, these policies maintain the underdevelopment of Africa. 

Findlay, Allan. "Migration Planning: The Case for Tunisia." Applied Geography 2.3 (1982): 221-30. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article

Keyword: migration, planning 

This article provides an analysis of government policies on migration patterns in Tunisia in the absence of a specific policy on internal migration and spatial distribution. The author review possible measures for altering migration pattern and concludes that long term changes in population distribution can only be achieved by specific migration policies that seek to modify the urban bias in the aspiration of migration populations.

Geddes, Andrew. "Governing Migration from a Distance: Interactions Between Climate, Migration and Security in the South Mediterranean." European Security 24.3 (2015): 473-490. Link to Article

keyword: climate change, environment, security, South Mediterranean 

The Article asses the link between the environment, and the security and migration nexus by assessing the EU's external governance policies in the “South Mediterranean Partner Countries” (SMPCs): Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, and Tunisia. The author argues that, given the data, migration triggered by climate changes interacts with social, economic and political drivers of migration. He further finds that implications of such movements exposes migrants to further risks and more displacement. 

Holmes-Eber, Paula. "Migration, Urbanization, and Women's Kin Networks in Tunis." Journal of Comparative Family Studies 28.2 (1997): 54-72. Link to Article 

Keyword: women, gender, family relations, Tunis, Tunisia 

This paper explores family relations in Tunisia through an analysis of the kin and social networks of middle and working class Muslim women in the capital city of Tunis. The data is based on interviews and observations of immigrant and non-immigrant Arab women and their families in the greater Tunis. 

Natter, Katharina. "Fifty Years of Maghreb Emigration: How States Shaped Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian Emigration." International Migration Institute 95 (2014). Link to Article

Keyword: Maghreb, Emigration, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia 

This paper traces the emigration pattern of Algerians, Tunisians and Moroccans to Europe since the 1960s, focusing on three distinct phases in which Maghreb converge and diverge. These phases are: post-independence when emigration boomed; mid 1970s-1990s when Algerian emigration leveled off while emigration from Tunisia and morocco remained high; and the 1990s when Moroccan emigration increased exponentially while Tunisian and Algerian emigration grew moderately. The paper focuses on internal and external factors that implicated these emigration patterns.





Sossi, Federica. "Choucha Camp: The Production of a Space of Remnants." Darkmatter Journal: In the Ruins of Imperial Culture (2015): 15. Link to Article

Keyword: Choucha camp, refugees, Tunisia

This piece speaks of the challenges migrant workers faced during the uprisings in Tunis. The challenges migrants faced in Choucha Camp, issues with repatriation, especially of Libyans, and with those who remained. 

Dourgnon, Paul, and Hassène Kassar. "Refugees in and Out North Africa: A Study of the Choucha Refugee Camp in Tunisia." European journal of public health 24 (2014): 6-10. Link to Article  

Keyword: refugees, North Africa, Choucha, refuge camp, Tunisia 

Driven by contextual and structural long term factors, this article highlights aspects of the changes in North African countries that are moving from being emigration-only countries to immigration as well as transit countries for economic migrants and refugees. The article discusses individual trajectories and health concerns of refugees in and out of North Africa from a study of the Choucha camp in Tunisia. 

Karasapan, Omar. "The Impact of Libyan Middle-Class Refugees in Tunisia." Brookings Institute (2015). Link to Article

Keyword: Middle class, social status, Libya, refugees, Tunisia

This article considers the implications of Libyan refugees in Tunisia, in various sectors, with a particular focus on those considered middle class. The author concludes with comparing the Tunisia experience with Libyans to the Syrian experience of hosting Iraqi refugees and argues that Tunisia can perhaps learn from Syria's experience. 

Paradiso, Maria. "The Role of Information and Communications Technologies in Migrants from Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution." Growth & Change 44.1 (2013): 168-82. Link to Article

Keyword: information, communication, technology, technologies, migrants, Tunisia, Jasmine revolution, uprisings

Through an analysis of field work data carried out at Lampedusa, an Italian island, in 2011, this article investigates migrants' use of technologies and the internet as a form of communication and the influence of technology on recent democratic movements in North Africa. In particular, the role of emotions and affects in these processes. The author finds that the use of social networks helped migrants in their isolation, provided an avenue to share information and played an instrumental role in coordinating demonstrations.

 Valcárcel, Amaya. "Resettlement is Needed for Refugees in Tunisia." Forced Migration Review 39 (2012): 14. Link to Article

Keyword: resettlement, refugees, Tunisia, durable solutions

This short piece recommends that refugees in Libya who moved to Tunisia to be resettled, as the only viable solution for them. The author argues that considering the involvement of the EU in the conflict in Libya, it has a responsibility to take in refugees.


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “Compilation Report: Tunisia.” Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Compilation Report-Universal Periodic Review: Tunisia. 2011 Link to Article

Keyword:achievements, accomplishments, restraints, recommendation 

The report provides Tunisia’s stance on statelessness, in addition to giving recommendations. 


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.”