Facilitate access to complementary pathways in Niger
Submitted by: Cecile QUEVAL – European Advocacy Officer
Email: [email protected]
Introduction to the project
November 2017-Ongoing (under discussions to continue the project in 2020)
In partnership with the UNHCR, Forum réfugiés-Cosi is providing information, legal counselling and support and leading advocacy to facilitate access to complementary pathways for persons in need of international protection in Niger.
- Objective 1: Support the GCR’s goal to expand access to third country solutions by increasing resettlement programs and develop access to complementary legal pathways
- Objective 2: Ease pressures on host countries
- Objective 3: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The partnership with UNHCR and a multi-stakeholder approach in the implementation of the project is strongly supporting the project.
Main activities of the Good Practice
As part of the project, Forum réfugiés-Cosi has created and coordinated an international on complementary pathways gathering a wide range of actors involved in the development of complementary pathways. This platform enables to share practices, expertise, common challenges, to create an operational cooperation network and to lead common advocacy. This multi-stakeholder approach is also upheld in Niger by close partnership with local partner at the Guichet Unique.
The objectives are to:
- Support refugees to access complementary pathways;
- Promote complementary pathways and reinforce networking and partnerships at international level; and
- Ensure technical support to all stakeholders mobilized on resettlement programs and complementary pathways projects (UNHCR, NGOs, public authorities, and hosting structures).
- In Partnership with UNHCR
- Working group on complementary pathways including IRAP, FEP, UNIMED, Amnesty international, Bard College Berlin, FCEI, Caritas, ICMC, IRC, EU Red Cross, Refuge Point, TBB, Sant’Egidio, UWC.
Challenges and how they were overcome
- Accessibility to complementary remain the main challenge, including procedural obstacles in consulates and embassies (lack of transparency in criteria, long procedure, restrictive criteria).
- Access to consulates is also difficult as very few States have a representation in Niger.
- Funding obstacles is also important for beneficiaries (visa fees, financial guarantees, tuition for students, etc).
- Beneficiaries’ information related to complementary pathways remain insufficiently recorded (family members, education, skills).
- The complex and urgent situation in Niger is also a challenge to implement complementary pathways which can take long time to effectively access.
How they were overcome:
- A multi-stakeholder approach is key to access qualitative information on beneficiaries, procedures and get support from partners in procedure and reception.
- Capacity building and training on complementary pathways is also key to raise awareness on identification and referral of cases, obstacles to overcome with authorities, and develop good practices to expand access.
- The working group has been very useful to overcome several challenges and to go forward on cases and improve the comprehensive approach of complementary pathways.
Results of the Good Practice
- 124 persons were interviewed, 11 were eligible to complementary pathways.
- 501 persons were raised awareness on complementary pathways.
- Around 10 cases supported in family reunification, humanitarian visas, private sponsorship procedures.
- More than 20 organizations mobilized in the working group.
Discussions to continue the project are ongoing.