Netherlands: No Dublin transfer of a person with disabilities to Italy

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

On 11 April 2017, the Court of The Hague has ruled that a person with disabilities could not be transferred to Italy since there were no guarantees that, if returned to Italy, Article 3 ECHR would not be violated.

The applicant’s right leg had been amputated, and the Court of The Hague considers the applicant a vulnerable person within the meaning of Article 21 Reception Conditions Directive and the judgments of the ECtHR in Popov and Tarakhel. Indeed, in order to determine whether a person is vulnerable, Article 21 does not make distinctions related to the nature or the severity of the disability. Since there are no individual guarantees nor sufficiently concrete general guarantees, the Court of The Hague concludes that there is no guarantee that the applicant would get suitable reception in Italy in accordance with Article 3 ECHR.

Merely referring to the fact that further details will be given when the actual transfer will be announced does not allow the Secretary of State to conclude that there will be no risk of breach of Article 3 ECHR. Moreover, the Court takes into account that the Italian authorities in their letter of 8 June 2015 only indicated special reception facilities for families with children, and the Secretary of State can only conclude from this letter that only this specific group would benefit from requirements under Tarakhel. In the circumstances of the case at stake, however, the Secretary of State will transfer a person with disabilities to Italy without such guarantees, which could potentially result in a violation of Article 3 of the Convention.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update.

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Child Specific Considerations
Dublin Transfer
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Material reception conditions
Reception conditions