Access to Asylum
Between 1 May - 31 May 2021, 24 (21 males and 3 females) asylum seekers were received in Abuja. The asylum seekers are mainly of Cameroonian, Syrian, Turkish and Ethiopian origin. They were subsequently captured for registration, issued attestation letters, and scheduled for interview.
Refugee Status Determination
2nd Eligibility Committee on RSD for 2021 was held in Lagos between 24 – 27 May 2021 with attendance from Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Chair), Office of the Vice President and the Nigeria Immigration Service NCFRMI Head of RSD from Abuja served as Secretariat and UNHCR was represented by the Head of Field Unit, Lagos and the Senior Protection Officer from Abuja as observers for UNHCR. A total of 127 asylum applications were considered from Syria, Cameroon, Palestine, Central Africa, and Turkey) with the following recommendations for 109 cases to be recognized, 17 cases to be rejected and 3 case kept in view for further review/interview and resubmission.
In addition, the secretariat presented a case of a refugee for possible withdrawal of status. The case is that of a Cameroonian refugee who has procured a Nigerian passport. It was agreed that the provisions of section 12 of the NCFR Act dealing with withdrawal of status be complied with as per the need for the IC to be informed and be able to defend himself. The Secretariat promised to comply with the provisions on or before the next meeting.
Members of the EC engaged with interest as the SPO expounded on the administrative and quasi-judicial role of the committee as among the agencies charged with the responsibility to ensure Nigeria fulfils its international obligation to provide asylum and protection to those found in need of international protection. A review of earlier concerns on the quality of the RSD assessments prior to their presentation to the EC and the need for an enhanced review process by the NCFRMI were revisited by UNHCR. EC members raised administrative concerns in preparation for their attendance to the committee sessions and recommended remedial measures to ease efficiency.
The Lagos State Employability Trust Fund Graduation ceremony was held on 8 May 2021. 7 PoCs (3 female and 4 males) were amongst the graduands. The graduands were also given start up kits on the skills acquired.
On 5 May 2021, JDPC assisted the 8 PoCs currently undergoing training with the Lagos State Ministry of women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation with transportation allowance for the month of May.
UNHCR in collaboration with the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) organised three-day capacity building training for NAPTIP Caregivers from 17 - 19 May 2021, with the theme ‘Building and Strengthening the Capacity of Care Givers In Combatting Trafficking In Persons.’ The training had specific objective to ensure that Caregivers are equipped with the necessary knowledge and tool for identification, protection, and assistance of victims of Human Trafficking, especially those who may need international protection.
The training had 31 participants from NAPTIP, Network of CSOs Against Child Trafficking, Abuse and Labour (NACTAL), and Women Trafficking and Child Labour Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF). It was co-facilitated with resource persons from UNHCR, NAPTIP, the Office of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), and WOTCLEF.
Follow up activities - Telling the Real Story
The Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking (ETAHT)-UNHCR Billboard design process was completed. Hoisting and unveiling is set to follow. On 11 May 2021, UNHCR and JDPCI - Uromi completed plans for a three phased training in June 2021 for the community antihuman trafficking committees in the three Local Government Areas (LGAs). Each of the LGA has three community committees which will function at their various community levels but can come together as a single body at the larger level. This is necessary for effective coordination, experience sharing and shared learning.