Smuggling of migrants, its consequences, and its repression

As a migrant, in transit in Niger, you should know that there are several laws and legal instruments that guarantee you rights.

In this article we accompany you through all these legal instruments to understand your rights during your stay in Niger.

                 What is migrant smuggling?

The smuggling of migrants is the act of securing, in order to derive a direct or indirect financial or other material benefit, the illegal entry into a State party of a person who is neither a national nor a permanent resident of that State.

Illegal entry refers to the crossing of borders when the conditions necessary for legal entry into the host State are not met.

The risks to migrants of illicit trafficking?

The consequences of the smuggling of migrants undoubtedly lie in the attendant human tragedies that they cause (deaths in the desert and at sea).

In addition, several violations of rights take place during trafficking :

  • Trafficking in persons, which is any act of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receiving persons, by the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, by abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of authority or a position of vulnerability, or by the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation.
  • Exploitation (economic and sexual): which is the illicit use of human beings for the purposes of debauchery, organ removal, forced labour, slavery, or servitude.
  • Torture is any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for the purpose, inter alia, of obtaining information or a confession from him or a third person.

             Suppression of the smuggling of migrants

The smuggling of migrants is a violation of Nigerien criminal law. The perpetrators, as well as the accomplices of the trafficking are punished by the law 2015-36 of May 26, 2015 relating to the illicit trafficking of migrants.

  • The perpetrator of the trafficking may be punished by a penalty ranging from 5 to 10 years’ imprisonment to a fine of 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 CFA francs.

See Article 10 of the Law on the Smuggling of Migrants.   

Act 10: Is punishable by imprisonment of five (5) to less than ten (10) years and a fine of 1,000,000 CFA francs to 5,000,000 CFA francs, any person who intentionally and for the purpose of deriving, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, procures the unlawful entry into or an illegal exit in Niger of a person who is not a national or permanent resident of Niger.

  • Accomplices who manufacture or provide fraudulent travel documents in order to enable illicit trafficking are liable to a penalty ranging from 3 to 7 years’ imprisonment to a fine of 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 CFA francs.
  • Accomplices who provide means (vehicle and other means of transport) to allow entry to a person who does not meet the necessary conditions for legal residence are liable to a fine of 2 to 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 to 2,000,000 CFA francs.

Certain circumstances may increase the penalty, for example trafficking accompanied by exploitation.

What protection and assistance does the victim of illicit trafficking in migrants benefit from?

Trafficked migrants have the right to :

  • To receive the emergency medical care that is necessary to preserve their lives or avoid irreparable damage to their health (through this link you can access the different structures that offer health care to migrants in transit in Agadez
  • The competent authorities must take appropriate measures to provide migrants with adequate protection against any violence that may be inflicted on them.
  • A migrant who is the victim of illicit trafficking has the right to institute legal proceedings for compensation for the material and/or non-material damage suffered.

For more information on all the services available consult ourmap.

For any questions:

- Contact us on our Facebook page Monday to Thursday from 8am to 5.45pm and Fridays from 8am to 1pm.

- You can also call us at these same times on our toll-free numbers 92 90 55 55 or 98 31 38 24