UN Migration Agency Launches New Registration and Profiling System for Migrants Transiting through Niger

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, Migrant Assistance

Niamey – IOM, The UN Migration Agency, officially launched on 17 August a registration system for migrants in Niger. The Migrant Assistance Registration System (MARS) will enhance collaboration between IOM units, as well as facilitate data collection at the Organization’s five transit centres for migrants in Niger.

MARS will allow IOM Niger to assist more migrants across the country, including voluntary returnees, facilitate data exchange between IOM missions in the region and allow for a quicker and more efficient referral of cases between missions for a successful reintegration programme.

In 2016, IOM Niger assisted over 6,000 migrants and, by August 2017, 4,500 migrants had already been profiled and assisted in the country’s five transit centres. At the centres, migrants receive food, shelter and psychological and medical assistance as well as a more targeted assistance for vulnerable cases. For many migrants, this is the first step of their assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) process.

“MARS facilitates the registration and monitoring of migrants all along these different processes,” said Alberto Preato, Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) Programme Manager. Once a migrant is registered, his or her profile and type of assistance are recorded and can be accessed by IOM staff to provide tailored assistance based on his or her needs. “Innovative tools like MARS, developed to respond to specific operational challenges, can contribute to greater efficiency and accountability in the aid sector,” added Preato.

Migrants need to be monitored and assisted simultaneously by several units and in multiple locations, often thousands of kilometres apart. A migrant can be assisted in five different locations across the country as well as in his country of origin, including for registration, protection and even reintegration.

Staff in all these five transit centres must work together to share information on the migrant’s profile, as well as to coordinate with each other and with the country of origin to organize the migrant’s safe and sustainable return.

The information collected through the various modules in MARS (demographic, socioeconomic, medical, psychosocial, protection, transportation and reintegration) is shared with the relevant units to facilitate a better coordinated and a higher quality response in line with the individual needs of the migrants.

MARS was launched after several months of development and testing in its five transit centres in Niger. It is an innovative tool designed in the context of the Migrant Response and Resource Mechanism (MRRM), funded by the European Union.

For more information, please contact Alberto Preato at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8053 5933, Email: apreato@iom.int

  • UN Migration Agency Director General William Lacy Swing was the first person to be profiled through the registration app during his visit to Niger in March. Photo: Monica Chiriac / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017