As part of IOM’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) activities, multidisciplinary psychosocial support mobile teams are providing services to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host community members. The teams are composed of teachers, health care workers, counselors and social workers, and offer a range of services including recreational activities for children and youth, informal education for adults, counseling and support groups. Through sensitization and focus group discussions, PSS teams are key in engaging with the local communities to identify and address cross-cutting issues such as gender-based violence (GBV), security, and protection.

To strengthen the provision of MHPSS services, IOM additionally supports existing specialized mental health service facilities through the establishment of referral mechanisms, the rehabilitation of psychiatric wards, the training of mental health care workers and the deployment of psychiatric nurses into hard-to-reach areas.

IOM also offers training on MHPSS to government, non-governmental actors, community leaders, UN agencies and civil society organizations.

IOM is co-sharing the interagency MHPSS sub-Working Group in north-east Nigeria.

Mitigating the risks of Gender-based Violence (GBV)

Through the MHPSS mobile teams and safe spaces, IOM implements GBV prevention and response services in camps and camps-like settings across north-east Nigeria, including sensitization and awareness-raising campaigns. In addition, IOM is implementing GBV training for various sectors, conducting safety assessments, and is working with partners to ensure GBV mainstreaming throughout the humanitarian response.

IOM`s activities in Nigeria are based on the Institutional Framework for Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Crisis (GBViC).

Counter-Trafficking in north-east Nigeria

IOM initiated counter-trafficking activities in Borno and Adamawa states in May 2017, and has since provided capacity-building support, conducted awareness raising campaigns and provided support and assistance to victims of trafficking in persons. Technical support activities provided to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), frontline workers, immigration service and police officers, and camp officials. 

In July 2019, IOM, jointly with Heartland Alliance International and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), launched the Anti-Trafficking Task Force in North-East Nigeria in Maiduguri, Borno State. The Task Force advocates for the inclusion of counter-trafficking measures in the regional humanitarian response and will operate under the Protection Sector Working Group (PSWG). The ATTF is co-chaired by the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development. Its 20 member organizations include government, UN agencies, international NGOs and civil society.