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Last updated: February 2019

Besides the non-State actors mentioned above, the family or family members can be an actor of persecution or serious harm, such as in the case of domestic violence, violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans (LGBT) persons, forced and child marriages, female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C), etc. FGM/C practitioners, including traditional circumcisers and health care professionals, are another potential example of non-State actors of persecution or serious harm, due to the violation of the rights of the child and dignity of the woman that the practice involves.

Human rights violations may also be committed by other non-State actors, such as mobs and criminal groups, etc. The situation in Zamfara state is a relevant example. It is largely driven by cattle rustling and banditry as purely criminal activities, separate from the herder-farmer violence in the Middle Belt [Security situation, 3.4].

Non-State actors, such as those mentioned above, may be considered actors of persecution or serious harm in specific situations

The reach of a specific non-State actor and their ability to trace and target the applicant depend on the individual case. The individual power positions of the applicant and the actor of persecution or serious harm should be assessed, taking into consideration their social status, wealth, connections, gender, level of education, etc.

Finally, it should be noted that persecution or serious harm by non-State actors has to be assessed in light of the availability of protection according to Article 7 QD.