Third Party Intervention in M.K.A.H. v. Switzerland, 95/2019, March 2020

Written submissions on behalf of the AIRE Centre, the Dutch Council for Refugees and ECRE.


  1. State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) are obliged to ensure respect for the child’s best interests, protection and care necessary for the child’s well-being as well as the other child-specific guarantees, in particular the right to nationality, family life and a standard of living adequate for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development. In the context of immigration or return proceedings affecting children, children must be afforded the opportunity to meaningfully raise objections to their transfer from one jurisdiction to another.
  2. The prohibition of refoulement under international human rights law is absolute and entails positive duties on the part of States, including performing an individualised assessment to diligently verify and evaluate the risks of removal. A child’s best interests must not only inform all measures and decisions related to refoulement, the determination of the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration and has to be carefully reflected in all decisions concerning children. The assessment of individual circumstances should include close scrutiny of all particular vulnerabilities of the child. Furthermore, States must make sure that the country to which removal is proposed offers sufficient guarantees to ensure adequate protection against the risk of ill-treatment.


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