Transnational Conference on Criminalization of Migration


Niamey (Niger) on 27 and 28 February 2023

The transnational project Alarme Phone Sahara (APS), invites you to a hybrid conference in Niamey (Niger) on 27 and 28 February 2023, in order to launch with you a campaign for the substantive revision of the Nigerien law on migrant smuggling "2015-36". This law serves primarily the interest of the European Union in its ambition to stop as many migrants as possible on their way to the North. It is therefore also partly responsible for the many violations of the rights of people on the move across the desert.

The stated aim of the law is to combat "human trafficking". But the current form of its implementation undermines the freedom of movement of people in the ECOWAS area, contrary to the protocol on freedom of movement in this area, which has been in force since 1979. The direct victims are migrants, migrant workers and their families, transporters and other migration service providers and generally all travellers in the country. In addition, the local population is affected by the measure.

APS through its umbrella organisation, JNSDD, in collaboration with the Association d'Etudes juridiques sur l'Immigration (ASGI/Italy), the Association Malienne des Expulsés (AME), and Nigerian lawyers have filed a petition with the ECOWAS Court of Justice against this law, as it is likely to lead to violations of the freedom of movement guaranteed to nationals of member states by the ECOWAS Protocol.

In this context, political support by civil society is necessary to achieve the objective of this revision, to contribute to the restoration of freedom of movement in the region and to promote the human rights of migrants. To gain such support, APS wishes to launch a transnational campaign with civil society organisations from Niger, countries in the Sahel-Saharan region, Europe and elsewhere, to accompany it in this process. To this end, we invite organisations and all other interested people to the conference on 27 and 28 February 2023 to prepare this campaign together. The conference should define the objectives, strategies and practical steps of the campaign - this also includes underlining the responsibility of the European Union (EU) in the development of the law.

Please feel free to spread the invitation through your different channels.

You will find the programme below.

It would be nice if you could inform us of your participation in this conference in person or online at the following address:


First Day | 27/02/2023 | 09:00 - 17:00 UTC+1

09:00 – 10:30: Introduction and Opening speech

  • Welcome: Dr. Azizou CHEHOU ( APS Coordinator and President of JNSDD)
  • Opening speech: Ibrahim Manzo DIALLO ( Investigative journalist and Honorary President Alarme Phone Sahara) on Migration Policy in the Sahel-Saharan region
  • Presentation of the complaint at the ECOWAS Court : Basheer SABIU (Lawyer - Nigeria)

10:30 – 11:00: Pause

11:00 – 13:00: Workshops 1 and 2

Workshop 1: Law 036-2015 - in contradiction with the right to mobility in the ECOWAS area.

  • Mamadou KONATÉ (Malian Association of Deportees)
  • Basheer SABIU (Lawyer - Nigeria)
  • Ms Sani Aïssatou GARBA (Registrar at the High Court of Justice Niger)
  • Ibrahim MUKTAR (Lecturer - Nile University)

Workshop 2: Policies of (in)security in the Sahel: Consequences for circular migration and the regional economy

  • Hassan BOUKAR (Alternative Espace Citoyenne)
  • Alassane DICKO (Afrique Europe Interact - Mali)
  • Mamane BOUKAR (Ex-Chauffeur of the Agadez Region)

13:00 – 14:00 Pause

14:00 – 16:00 Workshops 3+4

Workshop 3: Criminalisation and Litigation (Migration, Migrants and Solidarity)

  • Abdrahman Ama (Association of Former Migration Service Providers)
  • Moctar Nalosso (APS-Agadez)
  • Sadio Diallo (APS Agadez, Route observer)
  • Rex Osa (refugees4refugees - Germany/Nigeria)

Workshop 4: Consequences of restrictive migration policies for migrants: Dramas in the Sahara, mass deportations and pushbacks.

  • Laouel Taher (APS Bilma, Route observer)
  • Amina Samuel (APS Agadez, Route observer)
  • Ibrahim François (APS Assamaka, Route observer)

16:00 – 16:15 Pause

16:15 – 17:15 Summary: Reports & conclusions of the workshops

Day Two | 28/02/2023 | 09:00 - 16:00 UTC+1
EXTERNALISATION OF EUROPEAN Borders in (Sub-Saharan) AFRICA: Mobilisation and Synergy of Actions

09:00 – 9:15 Welcome & Introduction

09:15 – 11:00 Presentations: European influence on migration policies in the South

  • Moctar Dan Yayé (Alarme Phone Sahara Niger)
  • Presentation and testimony of representatives of Migrant communities in Niger
  • Intervention of representative of the civil society of Agadez, Abari Laouel (Regional Chamber of NGOs and Associations of Agadez)

11 :00 – 11 :30 Coffee break

11:30 - 13:30 Presentations

  • Statement by the representative of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Ali Dodo (Deputy Rapporteur General of the CNDH)
  • Criminalization of migration regional/international context, Hassane Ammari (AMSV/Morocco)
  • Speaking notes of a representative of Tournons La Page (TLP/Niger)
  • Global control of mobility as a strategy of the capitalist system, Father Mauro (Migrant Pastoral Service SPM/OMD)

13:30 – 14:30 Break and Lunch

14:30 – 15: 55 Plenary discussion

16:00 Closing

With the financial support of : Fondation Rosa Luxembourg – Alarme Phone Méditerranée – ASGI Italy RD Foundation Vienna – Seebrücke Switzerland - Afrique- Europe-Interact - Medico International – Brot für die Welt