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Visit to the Niger: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants (A/HRC/41/38/Add.1)

Human Rights Council

Forty-first session

24 June�12 July 2019

Agenda item 3

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,

political, economic, social and cultural rights,

including the right to development

Summary

The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe Gonzalez Morales, visited the Niger from 1 to 8 October 2018 to assess the laws, policies, practices and agreements adopted and implemented by the Niger with respect to migration and their impact on the human rights of migrant women, children and men. In the report, the Special Rapporteur takes note of the multiple internal and external challenges faced by the Niger in the management of migration and observes that, in recent years, it has adopted a series of measures led primarily by security concerns and as a result of agreements with destination countries. These measures have led to the criminalization of irregular migration and the strengthening of border control to curb and prevent migration to the north, in violation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) principle of freedom of movement as well as international human rights norms and standards, including in the context of readmission agreements and the return of migrants to their countries of origin.

Among his recommendations, the Special Rapporteur calls on the Niger to adopt a comprehensive strategy for safe, orderly and regular migration that ensures implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and that places the human rights of migrants at its centre. In that process, collaboration with key actors, such as neighbouring countries, ECOWAS, the European Union and the United Nations, will be essential.

Annex

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants on his visit to the Niger

I. Introduction

1. The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe Gonzalez Morales, conducted an official visit to the Niger from 1 to 8 October 2018 at the invitation of the Government. The objective of the visit was to assess the laws, policies, practices and agreements adopted and implemented by the Niger with respect to migration management and border control and their impact on the human rights of migrant women, children and men. The Special Rapporteur also examined the role played by other States and regional and international organizations with regard to migration. During the visit, he met with highlevel representatives of the Government, including the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Justice, representatives of the general directorate for civil status, refugees and migrants, the general directorate responsible for human rights, the national commission and the national agency to combat smuggling and trafficking in persons, and the National Police. In Niamey he met with representatives of the National Human Rights Commission and civil society organizations. He also met with members of the United Nations country team, representatives of the diplomatic community, the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy mission in Niger, and representatives of local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). In Agadez, the Special Rapporteur met with the Governor, representatives of the regional directorate for humanitarian action and crisis management, the regional directorate for the advancement of women and children, the regional directorate for civil status, refugees and migrants, the regional prosecutor, the regional director of the police, the regional office of the National Human Rights Commission and international NGOs.

2. The Special Rapporteur met with migrant women, children and men, asylum seekers and refugees. In Agadez, he visited an International Organization for Migration (IOM) transit centre for migrants, a camp of Sudanese asylum seekers and a ghetto. In Niamey, he visited an IOM transit centre for unaccompanied migrant children and met with asylum seekers at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) country office.

3. The Special Rapporteur expresses his appreciation for the cooperation extended to him by the Government and for its readiness to engage in an open dialogue on the human right situation of migrants. He thanks the United Nations country team for their support and assistance and also all the migrant women, children and men, asylum seekers and refugees who met with him.

Source: UN Human Rights Council

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