Algeria: Sub-Saharan migrants are exposed to violence and expulsions

53rd session of the Human Rights Council

Oral statement on the Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants

Dear Mr. President,

The OMCT remains concerned by the situation of migrants in Africa. Migrants face unacceptable and extreme forms of violence, including torture and ill treatment.

In 2013, 92 sub-Saharan migrants were found dead in the desert between Algeria and Niger. Ten years later, the number of migrants subject to human rights violations by Algeria has only increased.

From March to April 2023, there were more than 7,000 expulsions of migrants from Algeria to Niger.

These migrants are subject to torture and ill-treatment. They are arbitrarily arrested and detained with no procedural guarantees. Migrants are transported to the border, where they are abandoned without food or water in extreme weather conditions. During detention and transportation, security forces seize documents and belongings, and physically and sexually abuse migrants.

No individual case reviews are made. Thus, especially vulnerable groups, such as refugees and asylum seekers, are not provided with any heightened assistance. They face the risk of death if they are forced to return to their country of origin.

Algeria’s migration policies target Black migrants from sub-Saharan countries. Arrests based on ethnic profiling and security forces’ use of ethnically charged verbal abuse are illustrations of this discriminatory campaign.

For justice to prosper in Algeria, the State must stop its discriminatory migration practices by putting an end to the massive expulsions and torture of migrants. We call for Algeria to respect their engagements and the international human rights of migrants.

Thank you.

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