Serious harm

In order to be eligible for subsidiary protection, a third country national or stateless person must demonstrate that if returned to his or her country of origin, or in the case of a stateless person, to his or her country of former habitual residence, s/he would face a real risk of serious harm as defined in QD Art. 15 and that s/he is unable, or owing to such risk, unwilling to avail her/himself of the protection of that country.

Per Art.15:"(a) death penalty or execution; or

(b) torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of an applicant in the country of origin; or

(c) serious and individual threat to a civilian's life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict."

“Risks to which a population of a country or a section of the population is generally exposed do normally not create in themselves an individual threat which would qualify as serious harm.”


Derived by EDAL from QD Art. 15 and Recital 26

Legislative reference(s): 

Recital 26 and Article 2(e), 4(3) and (4),5, 6, 7, 8, 15 and 16 Qualification Directive 2004/83/EC

CJEU - Case C‑542/13 Mohamed M’Bodj v État belge, 18 December 2014

Facts of the case: Mr M’Bodj, a Mauritanian national, was granted a residence permit in Belgium for medical reasons (a major eye disability), on the basis that his removal to Mauritania would subject him to a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment due to the lack of adequate medical treatment.

UK - Upper Tribunal for Immigration and Asylum provides new country guidance on Angola and Cabinda

The UK Upper Tribunal has overturned its country guidance in FP (Return – Cabinda – Non-Luandan) Angola CG [2003] UKIAT 00204 and has ruled that despite serious human rights violations occurring within Cabinda and affecting Cabindans, these abuses do not render all returnees to Angola or Cabinda to be at risk of serious harm, whether or not they are Cabindans [129].

CJEU: Advocate General Opinion in Case C-562/13 Abdida

Facts of the case: Mr. Abdida, a Nigerian national diagnosed with AIDS, submitted an application to the Belgian state requesting leave to remain due to medical reasons.  Under Belgian law transposing the Qualification Directivethe state refused his leave to remain and an order to leave the country was issued.  When appealing against this decision, Mr. Abdida was not granted with a remedy having suspensive effect.


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