Header image for news printout

Niger: UN expert on internally displaced persons to conduct first official visit


GENEVA/NIAMEY (13 March 2018) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Cecilia Jimenez-Damary will undertake her first official visit to Niger from 19 to 24 March 2018 to assess the human rights situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country.

"The challenges facing Niger are huge and require a strong and comprehensive response," Jimenez-Damary said.

"Since the first attacks in Niger by Boko Haram in 2015, the Diffa region, in the south-eastern part of the country, has been confronted with a continuing security crisis which has uprooted more than 129,000 internally from their homes, in addition to the arrival of 108,000 refugees from Nigeria, and has triggered a humanitarian crisis.

"In addition, the more recent security situation in the regions bordering Mali continues to deteriorate on a daily basis and has already led to the displacement of some 1,540 persons. 

"This visit provides an important and timely opportunity for me to gather first-hand information on the situations of internal displacement in Niger, both new and protracted," added the expert, who will also examine the legal, policy and institutional frameworks in place for the prevention of displacement, protection for and assistance to IDPs, and support to durable solutions for them.  

During her six-day visit, Jimenez-Damary will travel to Niamey and consult with the Government, UN agencies as well as a wide range of other national and international partners, with a view to examining the responses to ongoing challenges, and assisting them to meet their obligations towards IDPs and protecting their human rights.

The Special Rapporteur will also visit sites hosting IDPs in the Diffa region, which is currently the epicentre of the internal displacement crisis, and will meet with IDPs and representatives of host communities to hear first-hand about their needs and expectations. She will also meet with representatives of the newly displaced IDPs from the Tillabery region.  

At the end of her visit, Jimenez-Damary will share her preliminary observations with the media at a press conference on 24 March 2018 at 11:00 am local time at the Maison des Nations Unies, 428, Avenue du Fleuve Niger, Niamey. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

Her full findings and recommendations will be included in a report which will be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2018. 


Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary (Philippines) was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2016. A human rights lawyer specializing in forced displacement and migration, she has more than two decades of experience in NGO human rights advocacy.

As a Special Rapporteur, she is part of the Special Procedures of Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page : Niger

For more information and media requests, please contact :
In Niamey (during the mission): Louise Donovan (+227 92 18 34 73 / donovan@unhcr.org)
In Geneva and Dakar (before and after the mission): Yasmine Hadjoudj (+41 22 917 9414 / yhadjoudj@ohchr.org) and Harriet Hirst (hirst@unhcr.org)

You can access this media advisory online 

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: Mr. Jeremy Laurence (+ 41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year, 2018, is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights." It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70thanniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.

Tag and share - Twitter: @UNHumanRights and Facebook: unitednationshumanrights