Finland - Helsinki Administrative Court, 28 May 2010, 10/0642/1

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Headnote: 

The Helsinki Administrative Court found that a female minor from a town near Mogadishu was in need of subsidiary protection. The Court held that to return home the applicant would have to travel via Mogadishu which would place her at serious and personal risk due to the nature of the armed conflict.

Facts: 

The applicant, a female minor from Somalia (a town 50 km from Mogadishu), belonged to a minority clan. She was at risk of forced marriage in her country of origin. Her family fled to Mogadishu to escape threats made by the man who had insisted on the marriage. Additionally, she feared violence in Somalia.

The Finnish Immigration Service issued the applicant with a residence permit on the basis of international humanitarian protection (not subsidiary protection status). The applicant appealed the decision to refuse to grant refugee status or subsidiary protection status.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The Administrative Court held that based on media coverage, Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government was only able to control a small area in the capital, Mogadishu. The general security and humanitarian situation was precarious. Taking into consideration the current nature of the armed conflict, there was reason to believe that an individual could be at risk of serious harm just by being in the city. The applicant was from a town which is around 50 km from Mogadishu. To return home, the applicant would have to travel via Mogadishu, which would place her at serious and personal risk due to the nature of the armed conflict.

Outcome: 

The Helsinki Administrative Court held that the applicant was in need of subsidiary protection.

Subsequent Proceedings : 

An appeal is pending before the Supreme Administrative Court.