2018 – 2021: The Niamey Declaration celebrates its 3rd anniversary!

16-03-2021

On March 16, 2018, 14 Ministers of Interior and of Foreign Affairs from West Africa and Europe, together with the European Union and other international organizations, adopted the Niamey Declaration, committing States to tackle the smuggling of migrants (SoM) and trafficking in persons (TiP) between countries of origin, transit and destination.

"Given the transnational nature of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, it is essential to seek operational and collective solutions between the various countries concerned. Given the adaptability of criminal networks to local and national actions, it is necessary to adopt a holistic approach that contributes to broad regional and international responses. This approach relies on available tools, information sharing and the valorization of good practices. " - Chantal Lacroix, Law Enforcement Expert - Abidjan High Level Regional Conference, October 2019.

The Declaration aims to improve the coordination and operational effectiveness of responses to these crimes, including by further supporting the efforts of countries of origin and transit in the fight against these crimes. It aims to do so by strengthening data collection, international judicial cooperation and law enforcement cooperation, in five areas of intervention:

The Permanent Follow-up Mechanism of the Niamey Declaration ensures that the commitments made by States Parties under the Niamey Declaration are effectively implemented. It is financially supported by Cote d'Ivoire, France, Germany, Niger, the Netherlands and the European Union. UNODC, as the secretariat of the mechanism, monitors and reports on their implementation.

"The Niamey Declaration and its permanent follow up mechanism have a central role in operationalizing cooperation and coordinating actions against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings in the West and Central Africa. The European Commission is currently preparing a new EU action plan against migrant smuggling (2021-2025) where enhanced cooperation with our key partners in the West and Central Africa will remain an important strand of action. The intention is to have tailor made partnerships, where concrete operational projects fight organised criminal groups behind this phenomenon." European Union focal point

The first virtual meeting of the focal points of the Permanent mechanism of the Niamey Declaration, organized by UNODC, was held on March 10 and 11, 2021. 32 participants took part in the event, including 14 women and 18 men. It was an opportunity to take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations and to reflect on the functioning of the mechanism. There are good prospects ahead, with the organization of more technical meetings, field visits and improved visibility.

For more information:

The Niamey Declaration is available in French, the English version will be published shortly:

Déclaration conjointe suivant la réunion de coordination de la lutte contre le trafic illicite de migrants et la traite des êtres humains

International meeting in Niger against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons