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Migrants determined to be minors were placed under "care orders" that resulted in their being moved to residential facilities and provided with needed services, including education or training.
In March 2009 the NGO Doctors without Borders (MSF) suspended activities at three detention centers for migrants on the grounds that it could not "offer adequate medical care" in what were referred to as "appalling" living conditions.
The president appoints as prime minister the leader of the party that gains a majority of seats in parliamentary elections.
General elections held in 2008 were judged free and fair. The government reportedly detained irregular migrants under harsh conditions.
During the year the Refugee Commissioner's Office expanded the number of asylum determination officers to 10, which reduced to fewer than 60 days the time migrants were required to wait for a determination of status.
Migrants who were found not eligible for asylum or subsidiary protected status, or who were not otherwise deemed to be vulnerable as a result of age, sex, health, or mental condition or otherwise, were still required to remain in detention for 18 months.
Approximately 61 percent of these foreigners were of African descent. Juveniles were separated from adults in most cases; however, first-time offenders were housed in the same building as juveniles.The government was also receptive to donations of clothing and other materials, and to the continued provision of educational assistance by outside groups, including NGOs and a foreign embassy.In July 2009 MSF resumed its activities at the Ta' Kandja closed center after discussions with authorities.During the year only 27 new migrants were received in the country and the vast majority of irregular migrants previously held in detention centers were released as their cases "aged out." At year's end there were 78 persons held in detention.During the year the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continued to provide training for authorities in handling detainees.