Third Party Intervention in Alaa ASAAD and Others v. The Netherlands, Application No. 31007/20, February 2021

Written Submission on behalf of Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (the Aire Centre), the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) and the Dutch Council for Refugees (DCR).


  1. Without being informed of an international protection status being granted and being issued a resident permit upon status recognition, the derived rights cannot be accessed – rendering the international protection status ineffective. In such cases, the rights and procedural safeguards this Court laid down for the protection of asylum seekers from refoulement, including under article 3 ECHR, should equally apply to such beneficiaries of international protection.
  2. An effective investigation into the real-time conditions in the receiving country prior to transfer must include consideration of the de facto access to rights derived from an international protection status, such as housing, the labour market, social security and healthcare, in light of the individual circumstances, past experiences, including prior treatment in the country of removal, and particular vulnerabilities of the applicant. When access to those rights is contingent upon holding a residence permit, issuing the residence permit will be essential and urgent in order to access the rights.
  3. The Contracting Party proposing a transfer must recognise and address the vulnerability of beneficiaries of international protection, who do not hold a valid residence permit or whose protection status is ineffective for other reasons, including their prior treatment in the country of proposed return. Such persons are in a comparable situation to asylum seekers. In case of individuals belonging to groups expressly recognised as vulnerable by supranational law, there should be a presumption of vulnerability, shifting the burden of proof onto the Contracting Party, when it wishes to refuse such recognition.
  4. For diplomatic assurances to be reliable they must be individualised, precise and cover the needs of the particular person. An assurance given by a State, where shortcomings and previous violations of Convention rights have been recognised and documented in the asylum or integration system, will presumptively struggle to satisfy the requirements of specificity or practicality.


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