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PSI affiliate SNAPAP defending human rights of undocumented migrants in Algeria

17 October 2017
PSI Algerian affiliate SNAPAP is leading a campaign, along with other African national trade union centers, in defending the human rights of undocumented migrants in Algeria. This was in response to the massive arrests of undocumented migrants living in Algiers, the country’s capital.

The Algerian government recently launched a drive to combat irregular migration targeting undocumented migrants of African origin. SNAPAP opposes this drive as it violates the provisions of the National Law No 08-11, relative to the conditions of entry, circulation and residence of foreigners on the national territory.

Arrests of undocumented migrants have been going on in the Algérois (suburb of Algiers), singling out Sub-Saharans migrants. Without giving any prior justification or explanation, and with no proper checking of their papers, the migrants were rounded up and taken to the detention camp in Zeralda (western suburb of Algiers). SNAPAP reports that more than 300 migrants from the camp were taken in buses to Tamanrasset (Algerian Border with Niger), where the migrants will be deported to Niger. According to SNAPAP, those who were rounded up were not only nationals from Niger, but also from other nationalities, including asylum seekers under the UNHCR mandate.

SNAPAP, along with other national trade union centers in Africa, issued an Open Letter to the Algerian President, demanding the Algerian government:

  • to suspend the application of the note issued by the Ministry of transport;
  • to set up a migration policy benefiting the regularization of undocumented migrants who are already settled in Algeria;  
  • to meet its international commitments with regard to the protection of the human rights of migrants. Algeria is signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

SNAPAP is calling for an African and international campaign to exert pressure on the Algerian government in order to stop the massive deportations of families who are displaced and forced to live in exile in inhumane and unbearable conditions.

SNAPAP further calls on the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants to look into the situation of massive arrests and racial discrimination of Sub-Saharan migrants in Algeria.

The signatories of the petition are:

West African Observatory for Migration - Lomé, Togo
General Confederation for Workers - Mauritania
National Trade Union for Workers (UNTM) - Mali
Trade Union Confederation for Workers (CSTM) - Mali
General Trade Union For Workers (UGTCI) - Cote d’Ivoire
National Trade Union Center for Workers (CNTS) -  Sénégal
National Trade Union Federation for Workers (UNSTB) - Bénin
Democratic Trade Union for Workers (UDTS) -  Sénégal
Autonomous Confederation for Trade Union (CSA) - Sénégal
Union of Trade Union Workers (USTM) - Niger
National confederation for workers / Power of Change (CNTS/FC)


See link to the letter: Lettre ouverte au Président de la République Algérienne (in French)

Also see