Greek Appeals Committee: Subsidiary protection status granted to Venezuelan family

Friday, February 7, 2020

The 7th Appeals Committee recently delivered a decision on the international protection needs of a family of Venezuelan nationality.

The applicant family travelled to Greece in 2012 after reporting corruption in the local state council in which they worked and due to the general humanitarian situation in Venezuela. Their asylum application was rejected at first instance. The Appeals Committee considered both claims by the applicants and noted that their alleged risk of persecution by state actors following the corruption incident had not been established. It added that the information provided was not sufficiently precise to establish a risk of persecution on the basis of membership in a particular social group.

The general situation of the country could potentially establish the conditions for subsidiary protection status. The Committee referred to the relationship between the concept of “serious harm” and treatment prohibited under Article 3 ECHR, as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the EU in the Elgafaji case (C-465/07), noting that treatment contrary to Article 3 ECHR can also be established where living conditions reach a certain level of severity. According to the European Court of Human Rights, inhuman or degrading treatment may be established when a person is in a situation that is incompatible with human dignity and additionally faces complete state disregard.

The Committee concluded that the situation in Venezuela is characterised by, inter alia, significant levels of poverty and a collapsed healthcare system. Moreover, Venezuelan authorities’ lack of engagement in national relief efforts further indicates a need for protection, especially for a family with three children that will face mental and physical health challenges in the event of return. The Committee annulled the first-instance decision and granted subsidiary protection status to the applicants.

Thank you to Stavros Papageorgopoulos, Legal Officer at ECRE, for assisting us with the summary. Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU team. 

Photo: Marino González, January 2011, Flickr (CC)

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 pusexblished but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.




Health (right to)
Serious harm
Subsidiary Protection