This thesis explores Niger as a transit country for Nigerian and other West African migrants and is informed by the border regime theory. This theory explains migration as a struggle on inclusion and exclusion among different actors within and across a border. These actors include migrants, states and their agencies, inter-governmental & non-governmental organizations, and individuals. This thesis uses qualitative research and relies on ethnographic research, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. The thesis asks two research questions: (1) are the EU migration control agreements in the Sahel region and the Nigerien government migration law of 2015 strong enough to stop transiting migration in Niger. (2) What are the implications of the securitized migration policies on the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, economic well-being, and security in Niger. This thesis suggests two hypotheses: first, state border and migration control policy cannot stop or eradicate transiting migration because there is a strong connection between smuggling and trafficking networks and the overall functioning of Niger as a transit country. Second, securitization of migration is a threat to the ECOWAS Protocol of Free Movement of Persons of West African migrants and poses a danger to economic survival and security in Niger. The research findings confirm the thesis hypotheses. It also reveals the vulnerability of independent female migration in the Sahel region to smuggling, trafficking, and sex trade. In addition, it exposes the collaboration of state and non-state actors in undermining migration law


Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Degree Name

MA in Migration & Refugee Studies

Graduation Date

Fall 9-13-2020

Submission Date

September 2020

First Advisor

Heck, Gerda

Second Advisor


Third Advisor


Committee Member 1

Awad, Ibrahim

Committee Member 2

Deets, Mark

Committee Member 3



130 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Global Affairs


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AUC Research Grant HUSSLab research travel grant