GLO.ACT supports national conference on Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants in Niger

Agadez, Niger - 11 October 2017 - The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants ( GLO.ACT) was one of several organisations to support a national conference on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and the Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) held in Agadez, Niger on 28 September 2017. The conference was organized by the Agence Nationale de Lutte contre la Traite des Personnes (ANLTP) and supported by a number of technical and financial partners, including GLO.ACT funded by the European Union and UNODC/ OHCHR joint migration project.

Niger is primarily a source and transit country for TIP and SOM. An estimated 90 per cent of migrants from West Africa, en route to Europe via Libya, travel through Niger. Migrants are especially vulnerable to being trafficked for forced labour, sexual exploitation and forced begging. In order to be able to better address these crimes, the government has set up institutions in charge of coordinating anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling actions as well adopted a specific anti-SOM legislation in 2015, as one of the few countries in West Africa.

It is in this context, that ANLTP organized a series of activities to commemorate the 3 rd national day against TIP on the 28 th September in Agadez, with a strong focus on the rights of migrants and the application of law 2015-036 against SOM. During the day, two sensitisation sessions were organized, which gave the main stakeholders intervening in the fight against TIP and SOM the opportunity to take stock of the advances in the enforcement of law 2015-036 against SOM. The first session focused on the implementation of the law vis-à-vis the Free Movement of Persons, Residence and Establishment protocol of ECOWAS and the second session focused around the rights of migrants under the framework of the 2015-036 SOM law. The conference also provided an opportunity to raise additional awareness about TIP and SOM and to focus on the difference between the two crimes.

The conference was opened by Mr. Ahmed Koussa, Mayor of Agadez, who welcomed the participants. During his speech, Mr. Mohamed Anako, President of the Regional Council, explained that Agadez is a crossroad where migrants from West Africa transit and that SOM has serious consequences not just for Niger but the region as a whole.

During his speech, Mr. Raul Mateus Paula, EU Ambassador to the Republic of Niger said that: "The EU welcomes the efforts of Niger in the adoption of the laws on human trafficking and migrant smuggling." He went on to state that the EU stands ready to support Niger in the fight against TIP and SOM. While, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Marou Amadou said, "sooner or later, traffickers and smugglers will have to answer for their crimes. They will be judged".

During the afternoon session, discussions were held on the rights of the migrants in the framework of the 2015-036 SOM law. Based on brief presentations by UNODC, OHCHR, IOM, National Commission on the Human Rights and National Expert on the rights of the migrant workers and their families, discussions were held with the public on the human rights of migrants and the role of criminal justice actors to protect these rights. Many testimonies were heard from the panel and the public on severe violations to the rights of migrants that included sexual violence, robberies, corruption and torture at the check points along the migration routes.

The conference revealed the need to further sensitise the general public, law enforcement and justice actors of the 2015-036 law and the obligations to protect the rights of migrants under it. More efforts are required to clarify misunderstandings related to the aim of the law and its content and to respond to the severe violations of the rights of the migrants.

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to provide assistance to governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including providing assistance to victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.

 

For more information, please contact:

Maman Sadissou LAOUALI

Laouali.sadissou@unodc.org

 

www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/glo-act/

Email: glo.act@un.org

Twitter:  @glo_act