Denmark - The Refugee Appeals Board’s decision of 30 November 2017

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
30-11-2017
Court Name:
The Refugee Appeals Board
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Headnote: 

The Refugee Appeals Board reversed the Danish Immigration Service decision to Dublin Transfer a female asylum seeker and her two minor children to Italy. The Board found that a transfer to Italy could amount to a breach of Article 4 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as reception conditions in Italy are subject to certain shortcomings and the asylum seeker and her two minor children were considered to be extremely vulnerable. 

Facts: 

The applicant, born in January 1993, is an Eritrean citizen. She entered Italy in July 2011 and was granted subsidiary protection. She entered Denmark in September 2014 and applied for refugee status. She has two children born in Denmark, one in February 2015 and the other in May 2016.

On 3 October 2014, the Danish Immigration Service issued a take-charge request to Italy which it accepted on 20 October 2014 referring to the Dublin Regulation Art. 18 (1b), cf. Art. 23, 24, 25 and 29.

The applicant lodged a complaint against the take-charge request and asked to be represented by the Danish Refugee Council which requested the applicant’s case to be considered in Denmark, cf. the Dublin Regulation Art. 17 (1).

On 7 January 2015, the Refugee Appeals Board remitted the case to the Danish Immigration Service as the necessary individual guaranty from the Italian Authorities regarding their treatment of the applicant was missing.

On 23 February 2016, the Danish Immigration Service issued a new transfer decision referring to the Dublin Regulation Art. 18 (1b).

On 29 July 2016, the Refugee Appeals Board upheld the decision of the Danish Immigration Service to transfer the applicant and her two minor children to Italy in accordance with the Dublin Regulation.

On 14 September 2016, the Danish Refugee Council applied for resumption of the case and on the same date a complaint was lodged to the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR).

On 20 September, the CCPR asked the Danish Government to grant the applicant the right to remain pending the decision of the CCPR (suspensive effect).

On 3 October 2016, the Refugee Board rejected to resume the case.

After the exchange of pleadings before the CCPR the Refugee Appeals Board on 28 September 2017 decided to resume the case.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Refugee Appeals Board noted that reception conditions in Italy are subject to certain shortcomings. However, referring to the ECtHR judgements in the cases Tarakhel v. Switzerland (Application no. 29217/12) of 4 November 2014 and M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece (Application no. 30696/09) of 21 January 2011, the Board found that a Dublin Transfer to Italy in general would not amount to a breach of the ECHR Art. 3 or the EU Charter Art. 4.

Nonetheless, the Board found that based on an overall concrete assessment the applicant and her two minor children must be considered as extremely vulnerable. The Board emphasised that the applicant is a single woman with two minor children who during an earlier stay in Italy did not receive any help, had to live in the street where she was exposed to rape. Further, that she has been diagnosed with PTSD, that she is not capable of taking care of her children alone and the children’s and her own urgent needs for help is well documented. Thus, the Board finds that the applicant’s asylum application should be examined in Denmark cf. the EU Charter Art. 4 and the Dublin Regulation Art. 3 (2.2) and Art. 17 (1).

Outcome: 

The decision of the Danish Immigration Service to Dublin Transfer the applicant was reversed by the Refugee Appeals Board cf. the Dublin Regulation Art. 3 (2.2) and Art. 17 (1).