Article written by Michelle Hoffman.

Nearly 30 per cent of those who risk all to cross the desert to Libya cou qualify for some form of protection once they reach Europe. This article recounts the fate of three men from Cameroon who aimed to go to Europe. They fell into the hands of smugglers. As they did not have pay-off money they were thrown in one of Lybia’s informal detention centres and tortured before being taken back to Niger where they were bound into forced labour.

“analysis by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, shows that about 30 per cent of those who take migration routes through Niger could qualify for protection, including humanitarian status, once they reach Europe. Thus, tens of thousands of people traumatized by war, political persecution and terrorism go headlong into more danger.”

“UNHCR has stepped up its operations in Niger, both to identify and protect vulnerable people of concern, and to help the Niger government to improve its capacity for determining asylum claims. It is also working closely with its partner, the International Organization for Migration, to reach out to people who may have fled war or persecution, to let them know that asylum is possible in Niger.”