Standard Operating Procedures between IOM and UNHCR
Significant mixed migratory flows transit through Niger due to its strategic geographical position. IOM and UNHCR finalized SOPs in 2016, for the referral of persons in need of international protection found in mixed flows. The SOPs in Niger have established mechanisms for screening and referral through clearly defined responsibilities and actions. The SOPs enhance IOM and UNHCR’s collaboration and leverage both agencies expertise and capacities. The SOPs contain also a screening form, with targeted questions on the individual’s reason for flight as well as questions to help identify stateless persons and victims of trafficking and abuse.
Certain stakeholders have mandates and unique skills to address the needs of different migrants. Referral procedures can help access these skills for those with particular needs.
Child migrants, for example, benefit from the assistance of actors versed in children’s rights and protection, including dedicated focal points in governments. Interventions targeted at domestic workers or victims of trafficking may benefit from the knowledge and experience of advocates and specialists on those populations. Civil society, such as migrant, grass roots, and faith-based actors, may be best placed to access migrants in an irregular immigration status. Consular officers and some international organizations may have the authority and capacity to assess identities and issue identity and travel documents. Host State local and national actors are often best placed to provide necessary services and international humanitarian actors should strive to provide assistance through local and national systems.
Stakeholders should establish referral procedures to ensure that those responding to the needs of migrants refer refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons to national and international protection mechanisms for those populations.
- Identification and rapid assessment of migrants with specific needs who require referrals to services and assistance.
- Referral of refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons to relevant protection mechanisms.
- Deployment of experts to host States to identify, assess, and address needs of migrants.
- Referrals to international organizations and civil society with specialized experience assisting victims of trafficking, children, and other vulnerable migrants.