Victim Assistance

Last updated: 16 October 2017

The Republic of Niger has made a commitment to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty. Niger ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 24 June 2008.

As of the end of 2016, the total number of mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors in Niger was at least 293.

National Commission for the Collection and Control of Illicit Weapons (Commission Nationale Pour la Collecte et le Contrôle des Armes Illicites, CNCCAI) is the government focal point for victim assistance, but due to a lack of funds its role has been largely limited to advocacy within the government on behalf of survivors.

Disability issues are the responsibility of the Ministry of Population, Gender and Child Protection; the Ministry of Health deals with physical rehabilitation services.[1]

Niger lacks a specific victim assistance plan, and victim assistance services were severely limited. Although the Ministry of Health had the National Health Development Plan (2011–2015), there was no mention of physical rehabilitation in the plan.[2]

Niger has not submitted a Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report since 2012. This report, for calendar year 2011, included information on victim assistance in Form J.

In 2016, emergency care and psychological support services increased in Diffa, while they remained at a stable level in the rest of the country.[3]

In Diffa, an ICRC surgical team treated weapon-wounded patients at the regional hospital and the Bosso health center. The ICRC also provided supplies, equipment, and infrastructure repairs.[4]

 In 2016, the ICRC continued to support two physical rehabilitation centers: one at the Niamey National Hospital (HNN) and another in Zinder, including materials and training for technicians. Sixty-eight mine/ERW survivors had food, transport, and accommodation costs related to rehabilitation covered by the ICRC. In all, some 1,000 persons with physical disabilities benefited from various services at the ICRC-assisted center (compared to 540 in 2015). The services included the provision of 126 prostheses (49, or 39% for mine survivors).[5]

The ICRC continued to encourage authorities and agencies to include physical rehabilitation services in a new national health plan, including by allocating more resources to physical rehabilitation centers and ensuring their sustainability. It also provided material and technical support to organizations helping persons with disabilities.[6]

Handicap International (HI) provided support to the Niger Disabled People’s Federation as well as local authorities in Niamey and Maradi to promote inclusive development processes. In 2016, this project was extended to the city Tahoua.[7] HI, also promoted the inclusion of children with disabilities in Niger’s education system, through a West African regional project that also includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.[8]

Persons with disabilities were eligible for free healthcare. The constitution and law prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, and access to healthcare and other services. These provisions were generally enforced. Legislation mandates new government buildings be accessible to persons with disabilities, but often architects and construction firms ignored this requirement and the law was not enforced. There were no specific regulations for physical accessibility for persons with disabilities to buildings, transportation, or education. Companies are required to hire a minimum of 5% of employees with disabilities or pay a penalty; however, implementation was lacking.[9]

[1] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), “Annual Report 2014,” Geneva, August 2015, p. 41. 

[2] Ibid.

[3] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Philippe Allard, Handicap International (HI), 18 April 2017.

[4] ICRC, “Annual Report 2015,” Geneva, May 2016, p. 185; and ICRC, “Faits et chiffres: Diffa,” January 2017, p. 1.

[5] ICRC, “Annual Report 2016,” Geneva, May 2017, p. 173.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Philippe Allard, HI, 18 April 2017.

[8] HI, “Niger,” August 2016.

[9] United States Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Niger,” Washington, DC, 2017.