Finland: rulings by the Supreme Administrative Court on returns to Afghanistan

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Finnish Supreme Administrative Court published four precedent rulings on returns to Afghanistan and the existence of the internal flight alternative.
In case HFD 2017:71, regarding a family belonging to the Hazara ethnic group, the Court ruled, based on the CJEU’s ruling in Elgafaji and Diakité, that despite the absence of generalised violence  in the applicants’ place of origin, their individual circumstances had to be taken into consideration when assessing the need for subsidiary protection. The case was returned to the Finnish Immigration Service for consideration of an internal flight alternative.
In case HFD: 2017:72, the Court held that when considering both COI and the applicant’s personal circumstances (young male also of Hazara ethnicity), that he could be expected to travel to his place of origin (Ghazni, Jaghor) and that he was not in need of subsidiary protection.
In case KFD: 2017:73, regarding a family of Hazaras who had lived in Iran for a long period of time, the Court rejected the Immigration Service’s and Helsinki Administrative Court’s opinion that Kabul could be considered as an internal flight alternative, as the applicants had no support network  in the capital nor any family elsewhere in Afghanistan.
In case KFD: 2017:74, regarding the existence of an internal flight alternative for a family with a 3 years old child from the Laghman province, the Court agreed with the Immigration Service that Kabul could be considered an internal flight alternative because of the family’s ethnical background, the fact that the father was highly educated, that they had lived all their lives in Afghanistan, they had close relatives in Kabul, and could then be expected to settle there in safety.
Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The EWLU would like to thank Marjaana Laine, the ELENA Coordinator for Finland, for her kind assistance with summarising the decisions.


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Internal protection
Subsidiary Protection