France – Niger

Timeframe: April 2021-Ongoing
Type: Technical
Contributors: States

Who are involved:

MFA, MoI (Direction Générale des étrangers en France), Office Français de Protection des Réfugiés et Apatrides (OFPRA) or the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless People, Cour Nationale du Droit d’Asile (CNDA) or Council of State and National Court of Asylum, | General Directorate of the Civil Registry, Migration and Refugees, Ministry of Interior-Niger (DGEC-M-R)

France's GRF Asylum Offer:

1. Commitment to a multi-stakeholder partnership to strengthen the asylum capacities of the requesting States: support States engaged in the development of asylum law;

2. OFPRA could usefully share its expertise and best practices in the following areas:

– Expertise in the assessment of asylum applications and the exercise of protection: maintenance techniques, consideration of vulnerabilities, drafting of administrative decisions on asylum, country assessments, reconstitution of civil status documents, etc.

– Establishment management: training of agents in charge of eligibility for protection, ethics/integrity, quality control, statistical monitoring, etc.

– Organisational aspects: digitalization of procedures, data protection, etc. 

3. Cour Nationale du Droit d’Asile (CNDA) could assist in developing the skills of judges and officials in charge of the application and implementation of refugee and asylum law.

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Niger's GRF Asylum Commitment:

Epicentre of migratory movements in West Africa and located on the edge of conflicts which have a lasting effect onneighbouring populations, Niger is committed to a generous policy of welcoming refugees despite a complex security context. Significant efforts have been made in the area of ​​reception and asylum: the establishment of a national asylum and refugee status determination system; adoption of the ETM mechanism; strengthening of the capacity of agents and members of the National Eligibility Commission (CNE) and the Appeal Committee (CRG). However, difficulties persist due to the incomplete reform of the normative and procedural framework for asylum. Under the auspices of the Asylum Capacity Support Group (ACSG), Niger is determined to reform its asylum system to strengthen its quality and efficiency. The main lines of the reform are in particular: making the CRG an appeal authority independent of the first instance; develop appropriate methods of simplified or accelerated processing of asylum applications. The revision of the legal and normative framework will enable the country to raise to the level of international standards so as to guarantee the effectiveness of international protection.

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Summary of Support

 The French government through its Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA)[1],Council of State and National Court of Asylum (CNDA)[2], in conjunction with the Ministry of the Interior (Directorate of Foreigners in France, DGEF) and the United Nations Directorate of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), will support  Niger through its General Directorate of the Civil Registry, Migration and Refugees and Ministry of Interior (DGEC-M-R) in reforming its national asylum framework, conducting a self-assessment of capacity gaps and needs of the national asylum system and possibly other activities linked to the other two components, as necessary.

1) Legislative reforms in Niger’s asylum framework

The France/Niger partnership will support the reform of the asylum system in Niger, focussing specifically on activities such as revision of the current legislative framework on asylum through an analysis of the legal texts and support for the preparation of new legislative text relating to the asylum system.

2) Self-assessment of capacity gaps

The authorities will work together on the design and use of self-assessment tools to identify the areas of improvement in the national asylum system. This exercise will lead to the sharing of recommendations to address identified gaps. The support may include the drafting of a self-assessment grid with the development of a roadmap and a proposed methodology.

3) Other capacity strengthening activities

The France/Niger matching will also address capacity strengthening needs in Niger with other activities, such as provision of training material, training of trainers, file management and improvement of quality and administrative decision writing. This aspect of the support builds on previous initiatives and aims at ensuring sustainability of efforts in line with the ACSG objectives.

The activities will resume in early April 2021.  

[1] OFPRA is the French government office for processing applications for refugee or statelessness status

[2] CNDA is the French administrative court set up to adjudicate appeals from decisions of the OFPRA