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 1986


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 1984



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

Ratified 1972


Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, 18 December 1990 (1 July 2003) 2220 U.N.T.S. 3 [Migrant Workers Convention].


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

Signed 1990, Ratified 1991  



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

Ratified 1987


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 1987



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 1970

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 1970

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 1970

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 1970

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].

Signed 1978, Ratified 1990

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 1978, Ratified 1990

Link to Protocol

Protocol relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (2005), 8 December 2005 (entered into force 14 January 2007) 2404 U.N.T.S 1[Protocol III]. Link to Protocol.


International Labor Law 

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

Ratified 1969

Link to Conv.


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

Ratified 1969

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 1980


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

Ratified 1980 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] PDF

  Regional and Bilateral Agreements:

Regional Agreements

Arab Charter for Human Rights (1994).
Ratified 2008

The Statute of the Organization for the Development of Women in the OIC Member States PDF

Arab Labor Convention No. 16 on Labor Social Services  (1983)



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

Link to protocol_Eg

Irregular Migration & Readmission Agreements

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Yemen and the Government of the Republic of Turkey concerning the return of people residing illegally in Turkey (2013). 

Labor Agreements 

Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Yemen (1998)


Social Security Agreements 

Social Security Agreements between the UAE and Yemen (2005) 

Social Security Agreement between Syria and Yemen (2009) 


Other Relevant Agreements 

Convention on Legal cooperation between Jordan, Yemen and Iraq (1989) 

  National Legislation:

Yemeni Nationals
Law no.6 of 1990 sets the requirement for acquiring a Yemeni nationality 


Migration and Labor

Republican Decree No. 47, 1994 deals with the entry and stay of foreigners in Yemen including employment (articles 15 and 23) registration, residency permits, expulsion and fines

Prime Minister's Order No. 214 of 2012 Promulgates the Executive Regulation of Law No. 31 of 2009 concerning Job Rotation


Smuggling and Trafficking
Law no. 24 of 998 concerning kidnapping of persons

Executive Order no. 48 of 1991 on regulation of prisons establishes that detained foreign nationals be imprisoned in separate prisons than Yemeni nationals 

Executive Order no. 12 of 1994 on crimes and punishment 


Rights and Entitlements of Refugees and Migrants 

Prime Minister's Order No. 29 of 2012 creates the National Commission for Human Rights that address rights for foreign nationals 




  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 Yemen:  

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

 Regt, Marina de. "Preferences and Prejudices: Employers' Views on Domestic Workers in the Republic of Yemen." The University of Chicago Press 34.3 (2009): 559-581. Link to Article

Keyword: domestic workers, Yemen

In this article, the author describes and analyzes Yemenis' preferences and prejudice about domestic workers, as well as the relationship between 'cleanliness' and reliability' and the national identity, ethnicity and religion of domestic workers. The author argues that employers produce and reproduce certain stereotypes in their efforts to maintain social control over their workers. Further, the author argues that the preference  of employers are based on balance of social, cultural and religious closeness. 

Regt, Marina de. "High in Hierarchy, Rich in Diversity." Critical Asian Studies 40.4 (2008): 587-608. Link to Article

Keyword: Yemen, women, migrant, domestic, workers

This article discuses the status of certain domestic migrant workers in Yemen from are positioned at the top of Yemeni employers’ hierarchy of domestic workers. They have a high status, are employed by the upper classes, and receive the highest salaries. More specifically, the article analyzes the differences within this domestic work hierarchy with respect to recruitment, employment, and living conditions, access to social support networks, and contacts with fellow countrywomen. 

Regt, Marina de. "Ethiopian Women in the Middle East: The Case of Migrant Domestic Workers in Yemen." African Studies Centre Seminar (2007). Link to PDF

Keyword: Ethiopia, domestic workers, Yemen, women, gender

This article provides an analysis of the different factors that influence the migration and employment of Ethiopian domestic workers, based on their mode of entry to Yemen. The author argues that status, mobility and employment situation is not fixed and there is large diversity among domestic workers. 

Regt, Marina de. "Employing Migrant Domestic Workers in Urban Yemen: A New Form of Social Distinction." Hawwa 6.2 (2008): 154-175Link to Article

Keyword: migrant domestic workers, urban, Yemen, social, Africa, labor migrants

The author argues that employing domestic workers in urban Yemen has become a new form of social distinction with the changing economic, social and political situation in Yemen within the past forty years. While the economic situation has deteriorated in Yemen since the 1990s, the demand for domestic labor has increased. The author finds the most of the domestic workers in Yemen arrive from the Horn of Africa. 

Regt, Marina de. "Ways to Come, Ways to Leave: Gender, Mobility, and Illegality among Ethiopian Domestic Workers in Yemen." Gender & Society 24.2 (2010): 237-260. Link to Article

Keyword: gender, mobility, illegality, irregularity, Ethiopian, domestic, workers 

The author explores the relationship between gender, mobility and legal status among migrant workers in Yemen. She finds the the mode of entry to Yemen and legal status is not fixed, and the boundaries between regular and irregular conditions in blurred. The author argues that gendered state policies and practices affect women's mobility and attempting to regulate status can further restrain rather than increase women's mobility. 


Hammond, Laura. "History, Overview, Trends and Issues in Major Somali Refugee Displacements in the Near Region (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Yemen)." Bildhaan, An International Journal of Somali Studies 13.7 (2013): 55-79Link to Article

Keyword: history, overview, Somali, refugee, displacement, near region, Somali refugees, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti 

This paper is intended to provide a brief overview of the history and evolution of the Somali refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, Djibouti and Uganda while including pertinent information on internal displacement.

Mohamud, Maimuna. "Somalia-Yemen Links: Refugees and Returnees." Forced Migration Review 52 (2016): 55-56. Link to Article

keyword: Somalia, Yemen, refugees, returnees, refugees, returnees


This report discusses the challenges Somali and Yemen refugees face when leaving Yemen as well as the strategies employed by the two groups of refugees.  

Morris, Tim. "Urban Somali Refugees in Yemen." Forced Migration Review.34 (2010): 36-38. Link to Article

Keyword: urban, Somali, refugees, Yemen

This report addresses the various challenges Somali refugees who reside in urban settings in Yemen face, including but not limited to employment, ID, education, health and movement. 

Nesya H B, Hughes. "Yemen and Refugees: Progressive Attitudes, Policy Void." Forced Migration Review 16 (2003): 36-38. (Summary adapted from resource) Link to Article 

Keyword: Yemen, refugees, attitude, policy, law, international law, international refugee law

This paper examine the legal and administrative context in which refugees are situation, the socio economic status of refugees and measures taken by the Yemeni government to assume responsibility for refugee affairs. 

Saeed, Aisha M. "Services and Participation in Yemen." Forced Migration Review.35 (2010): 36-37.

Keyword: service, participation, Yemen, disability, refugees 

This report provides an overview of the services available to and challenges face by refugees with disabilities in Kharaz camp and urban setting of Adan. 

"Fleeing One War, Finding another: Support for Somali Refugees in Yemen." Community Development Journal 40.2 (2005): 201-204.

Keyword: Somali, refugees, Yemen 

This paper describes the work of COMSICCA, a Yemeni NGOs that works with refugees. The paper traces its work to 2002 when UNHCR and the Government Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education began the registration of refugees. COMSICCA became responsible for facilitating the process of registering refugees by providing medical papers and references to those who needed further information regarding their status. 

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.”