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U.S. Statement on the UPR Working Group Intervention for Niger
February 1, 2011

February 1, 2011

Remarks by the Delegation of the United States of America

UPR Working Group Intervention for Niger, 10th Session

The United States warmly welcomes Justice and Human Rights Minister Djibo and the Nigerien delegation to the UPR Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and commends Niger on the completion of its national report and presentation today. We have carefully reviewed the content of the report and followed the presentation today and would like to offer the following observations and questions.

The United States commends the measures taken by the Government to improve human rights protections despite the enormous challenges and constraints that Niger has faced in recent years. By aligning its national legislation with its international obligations and enacting a number of specific laws aimed to protect human rights, which delegation members have highlighted this morning, the government has demonstrated its commitment to respecting human rights. We note, however, that these measures have not yet ensured that all of the residents of Niger enjoy all fundamental freedoms.

The United States is concerned about the issue of trafficking in persons. It is our understanding that Niger has just completed ordinance no. 2010-86 referenced in your report as legislation designed to combat trafficking in persons. What is the status of this ordinance and how will it be used to comprehensively combat occurrences of trafficking in persons? Will it be enacted or implemented under the transitional government or following the democratic transition, scheduled for completion in April 2011?

The United States also recognizes Niger’s involvement in fighting child labor, which was noted as a matter of concern in Niger’s report. In its ongoing efforts to carry out the labor code reform, is the Government considering legislation designed to combat child labor, including the engagement of children in hazardous work environments?

Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States would like to make the following recommendations:

1. That the Government of Niger accelerate the implementation of its new legislation and intensify its law enforcement efforts targeted at combating all forms of human trafficking and slavery.

2. That the Government implement standard procedures to identify victims of human trafficking, establish a referral mechanism to facilitate the provision of protective services for them, and dedicate financial or in-kind support to NGOs providing services to victims.

3. That the government pass and implement legislation aimed specifically at eliminating all forms of child labor.