Detention of vulnerable applicants


Country Report: Detention of vulnerable applicants Last updated: 11/04/23


Cyprus Refugee Council Visit Website

The Refugee Law prohibits the detention of all asylum-seeking children.[1]

Under the Aliens and Immigration Law, there are no provisions relating to the detention of children, except for those that transpose the Returns Directive, according to which children can be detained as a last resort and for the least possible time.[2] In practice, overall children are not detained, except for cases where unaccompanied children are arrested with false/forged documents that show them to be over 18, and usually in an attempt to leave the country with these documents. In such instances, they are detained as adults. Since 2016, such persons are often released when they state that are in fact under 18, especially if an NGO intervenes.[3] In 2020, an asylum seeker in detention claimed to be under 18 and was detained throughout the age assessment procedures, which eventually concluded that he was over 18.

Detention of vulnerable persons is not prohibited, and victims of torture, trafficked persons, and pregnant women are detained with no special safeguards. Indeed, due to the lack of an effective identification mechanism, of individual assessment, and a reluctance to implement alternatives to detention, vulnerable asylum seekers are often identified while in detention. Even when these cases are communicated to the CRMD they are not released, including asylum seekers who have recently arrived in the country and where there is sufficient evidence that they intend to remain engaged with the procedures.[4]




[1] Article 9ΣΤ(1) Refugee Law.

[2] Article 18ΠΓ(1) Aliens and Immigration Law.

[3] Information based on monitoring visits carried out by the Cyprus Refugee Council to the Youth Hostels where unaccompanied children are accommodated and to Menogia Detention Centre.

[4] Information based on monitoring visits to Menogia Detention Centre by the Cyprus Refugee Council and interventions carried out as part of the case management under the Pilot Project on the Implementation of alternatives to detention in Cyprus, available at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation