The government says there are about 174,000 displaced people in the West African country, mostly in regions where Islamist violence has spilled over from Mali and Nigeria. That figure excludes others who were forced to leave their homes to search for grazing land or water, said Lawan Magagi, Niger's minister of humanitarian action and disaster management.
The new law was approved unanimously by the national assembly on Monday. It is based on the Kampala Convention, a 2009 African Union treaty that establishes guiding principles for protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Other African countries have ratified the Kampala Convention, but not incorporated it into national law, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR).