Humanitarian protection actors trained in the identification, referral and assistance to victims of trafficking in Niamey

Published Date: 
Thu, 09/23/2021 - 23:00

Niamey (Niger) - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Niger, in collaboration with the National Agency for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (ANLTP-TIM), organized on 14 September a training session on the protection of victims of trafficking at the Palais des Congrès in Niamey.

This activity is part of a nine-month training cycle launched on 9 August 2021. It aims to strengthen the knowledge and skills of court social workers, women and child protection actors, members of civil society organizations, defense and security forces, and humanitarian actors in almost all country regions. It will enable better identification of victims of trafficking, but also their referral and assistance based on their specific needs.

The training covered the definition of trafficking in persons, the difference between smuggling and irregular migration, and the mechanism of referral of victims.

Over 80 people from Tahoua, Tillabéri, and Niamey have been trained so far, including 24 women. By April 2022, IOM Niger will have trained 250 social workers from the seven regions of Niger.

"Before this training, I missed many cases of trafficking because of ignorance," says Amadou Ibrahim*, a police officer in Tahoua. "The training helped me even to be able to identify and interview victims."

Due to its geographical location, Niger is prone to internal and transnational trafficking, being a destination and transit country for traffickers. A large majority of the victims of trafficking in the country are women and girls who face specific exploitations such as prostitution and domestic work. However, the phenomenon of trafficking in persons remains primarily underreported in the country because victims often do not come forward or are not identified by social workers who cross their path.

"This training will enable actors to identify victims more easily, to be able to talk to them in an appropriate and respectful manner, and to develop an assistance plan based on their prerogatives and qualifications," says Barbara Rijks, IOM Niger's Head of Mission.

Since 2017, IOM Niger has assisted over 500 victims of trafficking through holistic support, including housing, food, medical and psychosocial support, assistance in obtaining travel documents, among other service provided. Of those assisted from January 2017 to August 2021 by IOM Niger, 69 per cent are women, and 37 per cent are children. The majority of victims are Nigerian (56 per cent) and women (23 per cent). Other countries of origin of victims are Benin (5 per cent), Liberia (3 per cent), Cameroon, Gambia, and Sudan (2 per cent).

This training series has been supported by the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Italy, and the UK.

For more information, please contact Aïssatou SY at IOM Niger,