Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons – Smuggling of Migrants
ANLTP/TIM is responsible for overseeing the implementation of following two national action plans.
The National Action Plan to combat the smuggling of migrants was validated at the workshops on March 4 and 5, 2020 for a period of five years (2020-2024), but it is not yet adopted by the government.
The plan has the following strategic pillars:
Improvement of the criminal chain
Protection and assistance to smuggled
Prevention of the SOM phenomenon
Partnership in the fight against SOM
Monitoring and evaluation
The National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons (2014-2018) was adopted in 2014 and currently, the government of Niger in 2014 is in process to develop and new Action Plan as (2019-2023). The POA aims to enhance the legal framework to prevent human trafficking, adequately implement the laws, and provide effective protection and care for victims, including children.
This plan has the following strategic pillars:
Enhancing of the institutional and judicial framework
Strengthening the TIP prevention mechanism
Promotion of assistance and support for victims
Strengthening law enforcement
Strengthening cooperation and partnership
Monitoring and evaluation
Ensure that the Government of Niger has a legal and institutional framework conducive to the implementation of actions to combat trafficking in order to prosecute and punish the perpetrators and effectively protect the victims
Raise awareness among the population and stakeholders about human trafficking
Reduce risks and vulnerabilities through various actions
Ensure the identification and holistic protection of victims of trafficking by ensuring that all actors intervening in the field use the same procedures
Intensify investigations concerning trafficking and ensure the courts have all the tools to effectively manage cases relating to trafficking
Strengthen synergies between actors to combat trafficking effectively and tackle it at the national, regional, and international levels
Check the effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance of the activities defined by the Action Plan
Other Related Action Plans
In 2018, an anti-slavery Action Plan was developed by the Timidria Association (an association that fights against slavery) with ILO funding.
RELATED TO THE FIGHT AGAINST THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOUR
The Government of Niger has been working to draft a National Action Plan to Combat Child Labour. It was drafted in 2015 and aims to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in Niger by 2025. The POA was validated at the workshop organized by the Ministry of Employment in January 2018.
Institutions Responsible for Identifying Traffickers and Victims of Trafficking (VOT)
The identification is generally done by various actors such as:
police agencies (national police and gendarmerie)
social workers, NGOs, and international organizations
Agencies Responsible for Border Management
The institution responsible for border management in Niger and control of entry and exit is DST of the General Directorate of the National Police (DGPN), which is itself placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior (National Security).
DST is responsible for the management of national borders and the regulations on the movement of people (entry, exit, visas, refugees, human trafficking, etc.)
Border Coordination Directorate, which falls under the National Borders Commission.
For more information, see the publication Mapping of Borders Management in Niger (available in French only)
National Actors Addressing Smuggling of Migrants
CNCLTP has the mandate to develop national policies and programmes to combat trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
ANLTP/TIM is responsible for the implementation of activities defined by CNCLTP.
The Special Investigations Unit in the DST is responsible for the investigation of all cases of trafficking, smuggling and document fraud, supported by a joint investigation team made up of specialists from Niger, France, and Spain.
National Coordinating Bodies
CNCLTP continued to serve as the coordinating body for the government´s anti-trafficking efforts and has the mandate to develop national policies and programmes to combat trafficking and smuggling of migrants. Its mission has two components: awareness-raising, information, and care for victims of trafficking or smuggling; and support and training of actors (magistrates, defense and security forces, and civil society). It also identifies and collects all data and information relating to human trafficking and produces annual reports.
CNCLTP is composed of representatives from the following entities:
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of Social Affairs
Ministry of Interior
Ministry of Finance
Ministry of Planning
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Mines
Ministry of Transport
Ministry of Commerce
Ministry of Communication
Ministry National Defence
Ministry of Labour
Ministry of National Education
civil society organizations active in the fight against human trafficking
human rights organizations
the representative of the court
The Chamber of Attorneys
The National Human Rights Commission
Specialized Units - Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM)
In addition to the National Agency for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and the Illicit Smuggling of Migrants (ANLTP/TIM), Niger has a Special Division for Investigations (DIS), within DST and attached to the Ministry of the Interior. This division is responsible for the investigation of all cases of trafficking, smuggling and document fraud, supported by a joint investigation team made up of specialists from Niger, France, and Spain.
Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labour and forced prostitution. Caste-based slavery practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships, continue primarily in the northern part of the country. Children are trafficked within Niger for forced begging by religious instructors known as marabouts; forced labour in gold mines, agriculture, and stone quarries as well as for involuntary domestic servitude and forced prostitution. Nigerien children, primarily girls, are also subjected to commercial sexual exploitation along the border with Nigeria, and boys are trafficked to Nigeria and Mali for forced begging and manual labour.
Niger is a transit country for men, women, and children from West and Central Africa migrating to North Africa and Western Europe, where some are subjected to forced labour or sex trafficking. West African migrants fall victim to traffickers while transiting Niger en route to Libya or through Algeria and Morocco to reach Europe. European support for the government’s implementation of its 2015 anti-smuggling law, intended to limit irregular migration through Niger, has forced previously open (albeit illicit) migration underground and increased migrants’ vulnerability to forced labour or sex trafficking by criminal networks.
Main Trends and Figures
The government reported more than 70 victims identified in 2018 (primarily women and girls from Benin and Nigeria), a decrease from identifying 108 victims during the previous year. It also reported investigating 28 suspected traffickers, prosecuting 27 cases involving 27 suspects, and convicting 11 traffickers under its 2010 anti-trafficking law during the reporting, compared with investigating 29 suspects, prosecuting one case involving one suspect, and no traffickers were convicted during the previous year. Recently, in January 2020, the police in Niger rescued 232 victims of human trafficking, including 46 under the age of 18, during an INTERPOL-supported operation targeting organized crime groups in West Africa.
Between 2016 and 2019, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted 331 victims of trafficking (184 women, 92 children, and 55 men, mainly from Nigeria, Benin, and Niger); 26 victims were repatriated to Niger during the same period.
Smuggling of Migrants (SOM): In 2017, the Territory Surveillance Directorate (DST)16 reported 10,574 migrants turned back, 2,373 arrested and conducted to the border, and 2,208 repatriated under the IOM Assisted Voluntary Return Programme. In addition, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) estimated that in 2016, a total of 333,891 individuals were identified while passing through Arlit and Séguédine heading north, while 111,230 individuals were estimated to be travelling through these transit points heading inland. Numbers recorded during the period indicate a decreasing trend in outgoing flows since May 2016, particularly since the month of September, which could be due to the implementation of an anti-smuggling regulation by the Government of Niger.
Measures to Detect Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) Cases Along the Borders
There is no specific mechanism. However, the government adopted measures by training its border officers to identify of victims of trafficking. In 2018, border officials screened irregular migrant populations for signs of trafficking, identifying at least 41 potential victims.
According to the TIP report of 2019, Niger has intensified its efforts in the area of human trafficking and has therefore been placed in the upper category in this area, category TIER 2. Among its efforts there are:
Increasing the number of police patrols in search of traffickers in the desert. Training more members of the police force, officials of the judiciary, local authorities, and members of society regarding the detection of trafficking indicators and the investigation of trafficking cases (in particular to recognize indicators to identify victims during their journeys to their final destination)
Coordination with traditional chiefs to shelter the children removed from forced labour
Conducting awareness campaigns through several media platforms
ANLTP/TIM officials partnered with an Islamic cleric to address the common issue of marabouts using children for forced labour in begging
Sensitization of government administrators, police officers, regional and traditional leaders, and the transportation sector in solving problems related to traditional slave practices and risks of trafficking
National Referral Mechanism and/or Standard Operating Procedures related to Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrant (SOM)
In December 2019, the Government of Niger validated an NRM for victims of trafficking in persons.
ANLTP/TIM is responsible for implementing the NRM with the support of its partners. The agency will conduct trainings in 2020 and 2021 for frontline officers on the operationalization of the NRM. To learn more about the NRM, contact ANLTP/TIM.
Law Enforcement Agencies Responsible for Investigating Cases of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrant (SOM)
THE SPECIAL DIVISION FOR INVESTIGATION
The Special Division for Investigations (DIS) is a division of DST and has around 10 agents divided into four departments:
Judicial Investigation Service
Intelligence and Intervention Service
Documentation and IT Department
DIS operates units in the Agadez, Zinder, and Tahoua districts.
DIS became operational in 2016, when the Joint Investigation Team (ECI) project was set up. (ECI is supported by three French police officers, three Spanish police officers, and 14 Nigerian police officers and is led by a Nigerian police commissioner under the authority of the DST). ECI is a police cooperation project, funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EU-FFU), to fight against the smuggling of migrants and the trafficking in human beings. DIS is in charge of enforcing law No. 2015-36: 1) to prevent and combat illicit trafficking; 2) to protect the rights of smuggled migrants; and 3) to promote and facilitate national and international cooperation with a view to preventing and combatting the smuggling of migrants in all its forms.
DIS also has the mission of enforcing Ordinance No. 2010-86 on combatting trafficking in persons, which prohibits all forms of trafficking, including slavery and practices assimilated to slavery. This ordinance provides between 5 and 10 years’ imprisonment for anyone who has trafficked adults, and between 10 and 30 years’ imprisonment when the victim is a child.
In 2017, DIS contributed to the arrest and referral of 175 individuals for smuggling of migrants, 83 individuals for human trafficking and 10 individuals for document fraud. It also enabled seizure, sealing, and transfer to justice of 89 vehicles and 16 motorcycles. In total as of June 19, 2018, DIS carried out the dismantling of 19 trafficking networks, 12 of which have international ramifications. From January 21 to 31, 2020, police officers rescued 232 victims of TIP during an operation called Saraounia with the support of INTERPOL.
Identity and Travel Documentation Investigation and Forensic Lab
The Special Division for Investigations (DIS) is also responsible for investigating fraudulent documents.
The Technical and Scientific Police (PTS) has a Forensic laboratory equipped to carry out also fraudulent document investigations. Also, under the EU Capacity Building Mission in the Sahel (EUCAP-Sahel), the PTS was equipped and trained to reinforce the capacities of the Niger Security Forces (Police, Gendarmerie, National Guard) to help to fight against organized crime, terrorism as well as all trafficking linked to migration.
Technical Working Groups
National Steering Committee on Child Labour There are no technical working groups specifically responsible for studying TIP and SOM. However, the National Steering Committee on Child Labour considers the issues of TIP and SOM concerning children.
The National Steering Committee was created through a Decree (Decree portant la création du Comité de pilotage du projet Travail des Enfants dans l’Agriculture), and is chaired by Ministry of Employment, Labor and Social Security, the committee coordinates programmes and advises on child labour legislation and regulations, and reviews proposals for action plans for the ILO-IPEC country programme.
National Committee to Combat Child Labour in Agriculture The committee coordinates policies and programmes to combat child labour in agriculture. Chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture includes representatives from the MELSS and the Ministry for the Promotion of Women and Child Protection, as well as nongovernmental stakeholders. A guide was produced on child labour in agriculture.
Agency Responsible for Data Collection and Processing
Statistics Department, Ministry of Justice: The collection of administrative data on trafficking and smuggling is carried out by ANLTP/TIM with the support of the Statistics Department of the Ministry of Justice.
The Statistics Department of the Ministry of Justice collects data on trafficking via standard forms used by various agencies (criminal courts, regional and district police, gendarmerie, local authorities, and civil society and associations).
The DST is responsible for the collection and processing of biometric data concerning individuals travelling through the points of entry at all land and air border posts.
Through the PISCES system, the DST collects biometric data of travellers at the airport. In the Development Plan of the National Police of Niger, the DST aims to install the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at all the land border posts.
Protection and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking Agencies
Competent Authority and Mechanism to Identify Victims of Trafficking (VOT)
In collaboration with the Executive Director of the ANLTP and the examining magistrate if necessary, the prosecutor is responsible for formally recognizing VOTs. The person will benefit from care services until that status is confirmed. If he/she is not a victim, he/she will be referred to another competent service.
Assistance Services and Contacts
ANLTP/TIM has an updated map of actors/services working on TIP/SOM in Niger, as well as their regional location according to their areas of intervention. (see page 45) (available in French only)
International Cooperation Agreements - Cross Border and Extradition Treaties
At the regional and international levels, Niger has signed the following agreements:
United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the Protocols.
The Libreville Joint Platform for Action of 24 February 2000 on the development of strategies to combat trafficking in children for the purpose of exploiting their work in West and Central Africa. The Libreville Consultation is the result of a long process of collaboration and continuous exchange between UNICEF, ILO and the government of Gabon, which has facilitated the participation of 21 countries of the region of West and Central Africa.
The Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children in West and Central Africa signed in Abuja on July 6, 2006.
The Cooperation Agreement to combat child trafficking in West Africa, signed on July 27, 2005 in Abidjan between Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo.
Niger is a member state of the IOM, which signed an Agreement with Niger to Combat Human Trafficking on September 28, 2017 in Niamey.
UNODC Regional Office for the west and Central Africa: Mali is included in the UNODC regional PROMIS program; Strengthening the capacities of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons & Smuggling of Migrants Brigade in Mali and SAHEL program, to support the development of accessible, efficient and accountable criminal justice systems to combat illicit trafficking drug trafficking, organised crime, terrorism and corruption in the region.
Niger is getting INTERPOL’s vital global policing information into the hands of frontline law enforcement officers throughout Niger is part of an ongoing expansion programme by national authorities. The connectivity between the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Niamey and other security agencies was highlighted as a good practice in ensuring a seamless transfer of policing information. Operation Saraounia was carried out between January 21-23, 2020; 232 victims of trafficking were rescued, among which 46 were under 18 years old and 115 men without travel documents were confiscated by traffickers.
At the bilateral level, Niger has signed these agreements:
Extradition agreements: Niger has agreements with Mali, Chad, Algeria, and Nigeria. The 1994 ECOWAS agreements on extradition, ratified by Niger on December 8, 2005. The Antananarivo convention. The Accra agreements. The agreements with the G5 Sahel and with INTERPOL.
The Convention on Extradition between Niger and France signed on June 5, 2018.
The Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition against Terrorism signed in Rabat in 2008.
The judicial cooperation agreement with Mali and Chad on May 9, 2017 in Niamey. The States Parties undertake through this agreement to indulge reciprocally the individuals being on the territory of one of them prosecuted for offenses of common law or wanted for the purposes of the execution of sentences or security measures pronounced by the competent ordinary courts.
With the EU there is no judicial cooperation agreement but rather agreements regarding extradition.
Transnational Referral Mechanism
A Transnational Referral Mechanism (TRM) does not currently exist, but Niger is in the initial stages of discussion to establish bilateral cooperation with Nigeria.
To learn more about TRMs, see IOM’s Transnational Referral Mechanism Model (TACT) project and tool
Additional International Instruments
The GLO.ACT-Niger (The Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants) is a two-year (2019-021), joint initiative by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFA) and UNODC. An earlier phase of this project (2015-2019) was supported by the EU.
The project builds on a global community of practice set in motion in GLO.ACT 2015-2019 and assists the Government of Niger in targeted, innovative and demand-driven interventions: sustaining effective strategy and policy development, strengthening the criminal justice response, and regional and trans-regional cooperation.
This project aims to increase national capacities while ensuring national ownership and sustainability of good practices. The objectives of the project are as follows:
Assist the beneficiary country to develop and/or strengthen national strategies and policies to combat trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants by creating a data collection mechanism to accurately record TIP and SOM measures (such as identification, assistance and reintegration data, investigations and prosecutions).
Support the recipient country to strengthen its criminal justice response to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants through the implementation of national standard operating procedures to deal with the identification of cases of TIP and SOM.
Help the beneficiary country to strengthen regional and transregional cooperation in criminal cases related to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants through the promotion of bilateral and trilateral Niger-Mali-Nigeria forums on TIP and SOM, at both the strategic and operational levels.
EUCAP Sahel Niger aims to help establish an integrated, coherent, sustainable, and human rights-based approach among the various Nigerien security actors in the fight against terrorism and organized crime. As such, the mission is designed to provide advice and training to support the Nigerien authorities in strengthening their capacities. Over 100 international experts, the majority of whom are from European security forces and justice departments, are permanently deployed in Niamey.
To help Niger’s security forces achieve interoperability and develop their operating strategies
To strengthen the Nigerien security sector’s expertise in combatting terrorism and organized crime
To improve the human resources, training, and logistics management policies to ensure that the achievements made under objectives 1 and 2 can be sustained
To support the development of regional and international coordination in the fight against terrorism and organized crime
To support the security forces’ capability to better control migration flows and to combat irregular migration and associated criminal activity more effectively
Furthermore, the mission became the secretariat for international coordination in the security sector in Niger. As such, EUCAP facilitates the coordination of all international assistance and donations to Nigerien security actors. To increase synergies, the mission pursues joint activities with other EU programmes as well as other international actors present in Niger.
Relevant National Legislation and Policies
All 15 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states are entitled to travel/enter the country with National ID card or ECOWAS Laisser-Passer. In addition, nationals of G5 Sahel members states are permitted entry, in particular Mauritania and Chad and the members of the Council of the Entente.
Visa on arrival: all European Union (EU) members states and Libya.
Visa exempted: citizens of Tunisia (agreement of November 7, 1967), Algeria for diplomatic personnel and passport service (agreement of January 29, 1996). However, these persons must send a notification before traveling.
To respect its international and regional commitments, Niger has taken legal and institutional measures to combat trafficking in persons.
Ordinance No. 2010-86 of December 16, 2010 relating to the fight against trafficking in persons, of Decree No. 2014-488/PRN/MJ of July 22, 2014 adopting the national action plan to combat trafficking in persons, of Decree No. 2015-182/PRN/MJ of April 10, 2015 establishing the national day of mobilization against trafficking in persons.
On the institutional level, this concerns in particular the establishment by Decree No. 2012- 082/PRN/MJ of March 21, 2012 of the National Coordination Commission Anti-Trafficking in Persons (CNCLTP) and the Agency National Anti-Trafficking in Persons (ANLTP) by Decree No. 2012/083/PRN/MJ of March 21, 2012.
1961 Penal Code (as amended in 2003) (Articles 270, 293, 181) (The 1961 Penal Code is available in French only)
2012 Labour Code (The 2012 Labour Code is available in French only)
Legislation regarding smuggling of migrants: Niger adopted Law No. 2015-036 of May 26, 2015 which regulates irregular migration and smuggling of migrants in response to the difficulties which the actors of the penal system and to harmonize its texts with the international legal instruments. Article 31 of Law No. 2015-036 of May 26, 2015 entrusts CNCLTP and ANLTP with the same authority and missions in the area of Smuggling of Migrants.
Recent Modifications and New Decrees
Decree No. 2018-429/PRN/MJ of June 22, 2018 determines the procedures for the creation of funding and inspection operations for reception and protection centres for victims of trafficking.
Decree No. 2018 148/PRN/MJ of March 8, 2018 amends and supplement Decree 2012-043/ PRN/MJ of March 21, 2012 determining the organization, composition, and operating methods of ANLTP/TIM. This decree creates a legal affairs and compensation department (Article 7 is new).
Order No. 000034 of March 12, 2019 for establishing centres for the reception and protection of victims of trafficking in persons.
The jurisdiction of the judicial cluster (which was established by Order No. 2011 of January 27, 2011 for the fight against terrorism) was extended in 2016 to include the transnational organized crime (drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, illicit trafficking in migrants, arms trafficking, etc.).
A national migration policy in the process of being adopted.
Niger has ratified the Convention on migrant workers and members of their families (presentation by Niger in 2016 of the first report).
Several training and awareness sessions have been held for the actors concerned in order to prevent trafficking in persons.
A National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for Victims of Trafficking in Persons has been validated.
Legal assistance and victim’s compensation
REGARDING LEGAL ASSISTANCE
Legal assistance is provided by ANAJJ (National Agency for Legal and Judicial Assistance) when requested by the victim.
ANAJJ has the mission of making legal aid available to all and Legal Aid for the benefit of vulnerable persons. The agency organizes services to improve the understanding of the law, justice, and its institutions; prevent conflicts; and facilitate the settlement of disputes. Legal assistance services are free and intended for all without distinction of nationality, sex, age, or any other consideration, even outside any legal or administrative procedure.
Ordinance 2010-86, of December 16, 2010, Article 62, “Condition of stay on the national territory of victims” stipulates: The authority in charge of issuing visas and temporary or permanent residence permits, where applicable, shall exempt the victims from the offenses and shall provide the required documents in order to stay and remain legally in the territory of the Niger, at least during the time necessary for the investigation, prosecution, and conviction.
The following provisions apply to the dependents of the victim.
In accordance with immigration regulations, victims and their dependents can apply for a permanent residence permit in Niger.
In all cases, after the initiation of investigation and prosecution of the offences referred to this ordinance, no victim may be removed from the national territory until the final decision is pronounced regarding the public and civil proceedings.
In other cases, the victim’s rights to compensation are reserved.
There are no specific requirements for access. However, for minor victims under the age of 18, the legal assistance is provided in accordance with Law No. 67-015 of March 18, 1967 regarding the protection of the civil interests of minors before criminal court.
REGARDING VICTIM’S COMPENSATION
Ordinance 2010-86, of December 16, 2010, provides in Article 36, paragraph 2:
Once ordered, the repair must be completed within a reasonable time. The judicial authorities may order, with motives for their decision, that confiscated property or its corresponding value be allocated to the reparation and protection of victims of trafficking.
The same order provides in paragraph 3 of Article 36: The return of the victim to his country of origin does not prejudice his right to compensation.