Brunei Issues - 2023


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Disputes - international

per Letters of Exchange signed in 2009, Malaysia in 2010 ceded two hydrocarbon concession blocks to Brunei in exchange for Brunei's sultan dropping claims to the Limbang corridor, which divides Brunei; nonetheless, Brunei claims a maritime boundary extending as far as a median with Vietnam, thus asserting an implicit claim to Louisa Reef

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 20,863 (2022); note - thousands of stateless persons, often ethnic Chinese, are permanent residents and their families have lived in Brunei for generations; obtaining citizenship is difficult and requires individuals to pass rigorous tests on Malay culture, customs, and language; stateless residents receive an International Certificate of Identity, which enables them to travel overseas; the government is considering changing the law prohibiting non-Bruneians, including stateless permanent residents, from owning land

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Brunei does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore Brunei was downgraded to Tier 3; the government took some steps to address trafficking, including initiating a labor trafficking prosecution, increasing investigations, and continuing construction of shelters; however, officials did not convict any traffickers under its trafficking statute, for the fifth consecutive year, nor did it identify any victims; the government continued to detain, deport, and charge potential victims without attempting to discern if traffickers compelled the victims to engage in unlawful acts (2022)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit foreign victims in Brunei; some men and women who migrate to Brunei to work in domestic service, retail, or construction work are subject to involuntary servitude, debt-based coercion, contract switching, non-payment of wages, passport confiscation, physical abuse, or confinement; some female migrants entering Brunei on tourist visas are forced into prostitution; some traffickers use Brunei as a transit point for victims used for sex and labor trafficking in Malaysia and Indonesia; Anti-LGBTQI+ laws place some LGBTQI+ individuals at higher risk; Trafficking experts in Brunei have received threats from traffickers (2022)

Illicit drugs

drug trafficking and illegally importing controlled substances are serious offenses in Brunei and carry a mandatory death penalty

NOTE: The information regarding Brunei on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Brunei 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Brunei 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.