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NCHRL warns against the impact of the removal of migration laws in Niger.

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Tripoli, December 4, 2023 (Lana) The Institution of the National Commission for Human Rights-Libya (NCHRL) expressed its deeper concern about the Nigerien authorities’ repeal (on November 25) of the laws related to combating illegal migration in Niger.

NCHRL explained in a statement yesterday that the decision encourages the activity of immigrant smuggling and human trafficking networks, crime gangs, and transnational organized crime, which are active in the joint border areas, and also contributes to an increasing migration influx toward Libya.

It said that the decision undermined Libya’s efforts to combat immigrant smuggling and human trafficking, eliminate crime networks and gangs and cross-border organized crime, and secure Libya’s southern borders with neighboring countries, including Niger.

NCHRL was surprised by the silence of the Libyan authorities toward this decision and the failure to take a position, given the serious effects and repercussions it could have on Libya and knowing that Libya is affected by the migration flows from African Sahel countries and neighboring states.

It called on the relevant Libyan authorities, represented by the Presidential Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to communicate with the Nigerian authorities and stress the importance of reconsidering the decision because of its negative repercussions on cooperation and relations between the two countries in general and regarding issues of border security, migration, security, and stability in the region in particular.

Niger has recently repealed a law criminalizing smuggling or facilitating illegal immigration operations. The law, which was adopted in 2015, stipulated penalties of up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to 45.000 euros for those who traffic migrants across the Sahara to Libya, the last stop before crossing the Mediterranean.