Legal Protection

UNHCR works in partnership with national and international humanitarian organizations to promote the basic human rights of IDPs in North-East Nigeria and in the country’s Middle-Belt. The Agency helps address protection gaps of IDPs and returnees by ensuring legal assistance and counseling, across a full spectrum of issues such as domestic violence flagged through protection monitoring and vulnerability screenings. Partners support legal representation in court and assistance with documentation assistance, amongst other forms of protection support.

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention and response

UNHCR is mandated to provide international protection to asylum-seekers and refugees, and is part of the cluster response to the needs of internally displaced populations in the areas of Protection, Shelter, Non-Food Items and Camp Coordination/Camp Management.

As such, UNHCR supports States in their responsibility to ensure all displaced populations are protected against sexual and gender-based violence. UNHCR is committed to ending all forms of SGBV through awareness raising, prevention and by responding to the needs of all survivors, who can be women and girls, as well as men and boys.

UNHCR engages in several capacity building initiatives such as trainings for partners, Nigerian Immigration Service, military and networks with protection partners.

Child protection

UNHCR Child Protection experts work with the Nigerian authorities to promote good practices on best interest assessment and determination for children. According to assessments conducted by UNHCR and protection actors, Unaccompanied and Separated children (UASC) are disproportionately vulnerable to risks of violence, abuse and exploitation by fighting groups as to separation from families. They often have limited access to services such as health, and lack of protection from abuse, violence and exploitation. Through strong advocacy and support to authorities, UNHCR has been able to provide appropriate care and services to displaced and returnee children at risk of abuse or exploitation in the North-East.


In Nigeria, UNHCR registration experts are actively engaged in the registration of refugees, especially of Cameroonians in Benue, Cross River and Taraba States in asylum seekers in Cross River state. This exercise is done along side key government agencies i.e. the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs.

Registration is a continuing process to record essential information at the time of initial displacement, as well as any subsequent demographic and other changes in the refugee population. UNHCR supports the authorities to issue refugee ID cards which give them freedom of movement across Nigeria, access to health facilities and schools alongside their Nigerian neighbours.

Registration of refugees and asylum-seekers is a protection tool used to protect refugees from arbitrary arrest, forcible recruitment, detention and refoulement.