Belgium: CALL suspends Dublin III transfer of family with minor to Spain

Friday, April 15, 2016

This case relates to a Syrian family who arrived in Belgium in October 2016 and lodged an application for asylum. The Spanish authorities accepted a take back request made by the Belgian authorities under the Dublin III Regulation, as they had been fingerprinted there in September 2015 after arriving in Melilla.  The applicants’ were ordered to leave the territory of Belgium on the basis that Spain, and not Belgium, was responsible for examining their asylum claim. The applicants’ requested suspension of this decision before the Council of Aliens’ Law Litigation (CALL) pursuant to the extreme urgency procedure. They alleged a real risk of Article 3 ECHR harm upon transfer to Spain on account of the poor reception conditions for asylum seekers there.

 At the time of the challenge their child, who was born in Belgium, was three months old. The mother alleged that whilst in Spain they did not receive adequate reception, and that she was separated from her husband and forced to sleep in a tent for three nights while heavily pregnant.

The CALL considered the decision in Tarakhel noting that children were extremely vulnerable and required reception conditions adapted to their age and vulnerability. It further noted the need to take into account the best interests of the child, also provided for in Article 6 of the Dublin regulation. It considered, in view of the reports submitted by the applicants, including by the UNHCR, that there were doubts as to whether the reception conditions in Spain would comply with Article 3 ECHR. It concluded that due to the particular circumstances of the case and the very young age of the child, the condition of extreme urgency had been met, and there had been a prima facie breach of the duty to properly motivate the decision. There had not been a sufficiently rigorous review of the situation in Spain, given that elements had been raised indicating the existence of a real risk of Article 3 ECHR harm.

It found that the necessary conditions under the extreme urgency procedure had therefore been met, and ordered the suspension of the execution of the decision refusing entry to the applicants and ordering them to leave the territory.

Based on an unofficial ELENA translation. The ELENA Weekly Legal Update would like to thank Valerie Klein for providing this judgment and her assistance with the summary

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. 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, the IRC or its partners.



Dublin Transfer
Individual assessment
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Material reception conditions
Reception conditions
Relevant Documentation
Request to take back
Vulnerable person