Statelessness highlights in Niger

Published: 1/Avr/2019
Source: UNHCR Niger

Main highlights on Statelessness in Niger


Since 2016, UNHCR Niger is supporting in the Diffa region a large-scale project carried out with a partner NGO, Au Secours des Oubliés (SDO), aiming at identifying undocumented children (0-6 years old) born in displacement amongst the refugee, IDPs and returnee populations.

In the period 2016-2018, 23,530 undocumented children have been identified, 16,229 births were registered through mobile Courts and 15,077 birth certificates have been delivered to the concerned populations.

According to the 2015 Electoral Census, more than 70% of Nigeriens of voting age do not have civil status documents entitling them to the electoral roll. In 2018, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), in liaison with the technical Ministries concerned, organized information, sensitization and Mobile Court operations for the issuance of civil status documents throughout the national territory.

Between July and November 2018, 4,707,514 births and 71,196 marriages were registered free of charge through mobile Courts for Nigeriens who applied for the services.


UNHCR carried out a qualitative/quantitative study on the risk of statelessness in the Diffa Region in 2015: the study informed that 82% of the population targeted by the field research did not possess civil documentation, whereas 61% (around 8,100 individuals) of the same population was assessed as being at risk of statelessness since the individuals considered were found to not possess any relevant legal link with a State.


Niger has ratified the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Prevention of Statelessness. The country is also legally bound by the ECOWAS Banjul Plan of Action which provides the establishment of identification/protection mechanisms for stateless migrants and the issuance of nationality documents to those who are entitled to it. However, to date, no institutional mechanism is in place in the country to formally identify stateless persons and thereby ensure access to the set of rights outlined in the 1954 Convention.

Communication& training

Niger celebrated the First Anniversary of the Banjul Plan of Action in Tillabery (see this article for further details), namely in the town of Ayourou and the refugee camp of Tabareybarey. The activities included awareness raising sessions on civil documentation for up to 1,000 people as well as late birth registration for258children belonging to the refugee, IDP and host communities (Aug. 2018).

A workshop was organized in Diffa with local Authorities and partners on statelessness (Sept.2018).

Niger celebrated the 4th Anniversary of the global #Ibelong campaign in two elementary schools in Niamey hosting local and refugee children. Sessions of participative theater + sensitization on the importance of civil registration as well as on the existing procedures to obtain civil documentation were animated respectively by the NGO “Communication pour le Développement”, the GoN Focal Point on statelessness and local authorities (Civil Registration authorities, traditional Chiefs and local Administration). Some short interviews to stakeholders and children were produced and shared through UNHCR social media channels (Nov. 2018).

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Themes: Apatridie
Regions: Niger
Year: 2019