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Senegal: Whether Senegal is still a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); if so, the conditions for nationals of other ECOWAS member countries to enter and exit Senegal and the rights of those who settle in Senegal (October 2005)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 17 October 2005
Citation / Document Symbol SEN100618.FE
Reference 1
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Senegal: Whether Senegal is still a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); if so, the conditions for nationals of other ECOWAS member countries to enter and exit Senegal and the rights of those who settle in Senegal (October 2005) , 17 October 2005, SEN100618.FE , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f147a037.html [accessed 21 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Corroborating sources indicated that Senegal is one of the fifteen member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), along with Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo (France n.d.; Senegal n.d.; Action-visas.com n.d.).

During a 29 September 2005 telephone interview, the consular chargé d'affaires at the Embassy of Senegal in Ottawa explained that nationals of ECOWAS member countries do not need a visa to enter Senegal (see also TIM Oct. 2005, 382-383). They can enter and exit the country at will simply by presenting an ECOWAS passport or another valid piece of identification, along with an international vaccination card (Senegal 29 Sept. 2005).

However, without specific reference to Senegal, ECOWAS states on the "Achievements" page of its Website that

[t]he visa and entry permit requirement has been abolished in all ECOWAS Member States. However, nearly all the States still maintain numerous check-points, and ECOWAS citizens are subjected to administrative harassment and extortion (7 May 2005).

In terms of the rights of citizens of other ECOWAS member countries who settle in Senegal, the consular chargé d'affaires stated that they are permitted to study and to work (Senegal 29 Sept. 2005). He explained, however, that the public service and the armed forces are open only to Senegalese nationals (ibid.). He also indicated that nationals of other ECOWAS countries can settle in Senegal indefinitely, yet they must register with their respective diplomatic representatives and ensure that their identity documents remain valid (ibid.).

During a 13 October 2005 telephone interview, the president of Senegal's National Organization for Human Rights (Organisation nationale des droits de l'homme, ONDH), an affiliate of the International Federation for Human Rights (Fédération internationale des ligues des dropits de l'homme, FIDH), stated that nationals of other ECOWAS countries who settle in Senegal, however, are unable to work in the public service and also face a range of protectionist regulations put in place by certain professional bodies (for example, those of notaries, physicians, accountants, lawyers and architects). Many nationals of ECOWAS countries work in the official and parallel markets in Senegal, particularly in Dakar (ONDH 13 Oct. 2005).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Action-visas.com. N.d. "Visas et services pour vos voyages: Burkina Faso." [Accessed 5 Oct. 2005]

France. N.d. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO)." [Accessed 27 Sept. 2005]

Organisation nationale des droits de l'homme (ONDH). 13 October 2005. Telephone interview with the president.

Senegal. 29 September 2005. Embassy of Senegal, Ottawa. Telephone interview with the consular chargé d'affaires.

Senegal N.d. "Communauté économique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO)." [Accessed 29 Sept. 2005]

Travel Information Manual (TIM). October 2005. "Senegal (SN)." Hoofddorp, The Netherlands: IATA Netherlands Data Publications.

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: A researcher at the Centre d'études africaines of the École des hautes études en sciences socials [Paris] and a research professor in the Department of Public Law at the Université de Cotonou did not provide any information on the subject.

Internet sites, including: Afrik.com, Agence de presse sénégalaise, AllAfrica, ECOI.net, ECOWAS, Government of Senegal, Investir en zone franc (IZF.net), Le Quotidien, ReliefWeb, Le Soleil, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United States Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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