Brunei Issues - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

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 (2020); 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

Illicit drugs

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

Trafficking in persons

current situation: human traffickers exploit foreign victims in Brunei; some men and women who migrate to Brunei to work as domestics or in retail or construction 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

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Brunei does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government enacted the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Order, which criminalized sex and labor trafficking and separated trafficking crimes from migrant smuggling crimes; the government formalized its interagency anti-trafficking in persons committee; instituted a committee to review foreign worker recruitment practices, ratified the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, and acceded to the UN TIP Protocol; however, authorities did not formally identify any trafficking cases, did not initiate any new trafficking prosecutions, and did not convict any traffickers; trafficking victims continued to be detained, deported, and charged with crimes without law enforcement determining if they were forced to commit the illegal acts by traffickers; the government again did not allocate money to a fund established in 2004 for victim compensation and repatriation; a draft national action plan to combat trafficking was not completed for the sixth consecutive year (2020)

NOTE: The information regarding Brunei on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Brunei 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Brunei 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.