Communicated Cases against Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium

Friday, August 9, 2019

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has recently communicated the following asylum-related cases:

  • Totopa v. Spain (Application No. 74048/17): The applicant is an Ivorian national. On 23 March 2017, the applicant’s son and sister (the child’s aunt) tried to enter Spain by sea from Morocco. They were rescued by the Spanish authorities and transferred to Melilla. The child and his aunt were separated upon arrival, and the aunt was later transferred to the mainland. On 17 April 2017, the applicant tried to enter Spain by boat and was rescued and brought to the Spanish mainland. Between 17 April 2017 and 13 November 2017, the applicant remained separated from her son in Melilla and applications for reunification were refused. The applicant complains that this separation violated Article 8 ECHR, and the lack of an effective remedy in this regard was a violation of Article 13 ECHR. 
  • Z.H. v. the Netherlands (Application No. 45582/18): The applicant is an Afghan national. She applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 2017 and her application was refused on the grounds that it was not believed she was threatened by the Taliban. The applicant complains under Article 3 that if expelled to Afghanistan she will be at risk of ill treatment because she is a Westernised woman who was formerly employed by a foreign NGO.
  • M.J. v. the Netherlands (Application No. 49259/18): The applicant is an Afghan national from Laghman province. In 2015, he applied for asylum in the Netherlands. The application was refused as it was found that an internal protection alternative was available in Kabul. The applicant complains under Article 3 that no internal protection alternative exists in Kabul. He further complains under Article 13, taken in conjunction with Article 3, regarding the lack of access to an effective remedy. 
  • Jafari v. Sweden (Application No. 18568/19): The application concerns an Afghan national who applied for a residence permit in Sweden on account of family ties to his father and two brothers. His application was rejected on the grounds that he had not sufficiently substantiated his identity. The applicant complains that the Swedish authorities’ refusal to grant him a residency permit violated his right to respect for family life as guaranteed by Article 8 of the Convention.
  • R.L. v. Belgium (Application No. 15388/18): The applicant, a Colombian national, submitted an application for international protection in Belgium stating that he faced threats from armed groups involved in drug trafficking in Colombia. The application was refused. The applicant complains under the procedural limb of Article 3 regarding the Belgian authorities failure to sufficiently assess the risk to the violation of his rights under Article 3 if he were to be returned. The applicant also complains under Article 13 in this respect.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.


Family reunification
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