Detention of vulnerable applicants


Country Report: Detention of vulnerable applicants Last updated: 09/05/24


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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, children are not detained. The only instances where children have been detained is in cases where unaccompanied children were 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 and will most probably be released if sufficient evidence is provided that they are in fact under 18, especially if an NGO intervenes.[3] In recent years no such cases have been identified.

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]

In a 2023 case the IPAC ordered the release of an asylum seeker from Cameroon who was detained on the basis that her asylum application was submitted solely to obstruct her return although she was arrested immediately upon entering RoC. The IPAC accepted that there was no evidence justifying the detention of the applicant and found among other things, a note in her file indicating that she was a victim of violence in her country of origin which was inconsistent with the legal basis of the detention and thus problematic.[5]



[1] Article 9ΣΤ(1) Refugee Law.

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

[3] Information provided by Cyprus Refugee Council.

[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. See European Alternatives to Detention Network’s webpage, available at:

[5] A.M.A. ν. Republic of Cyprus, Case No. ΔΚ 33/2023, 5 January 2023, available in Greek 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