Italy: The region of Casamance, Senegal, excluded by the presumption of “safe third countries”

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

On 22 January 2020, the Tribunal of Florence published its judgment concerning the suspension of the execution of a rejected asylum application considered by the Territorial Commission as manifestly unfounded due to inclusion of the applicant’s country of origin in list of safe third countries. 

The applicant submitted an international protection application in Italy, claiming fear of persecution based on their sexual orientation. The Territorial Commission rejected the request as manifestly unfounded in the light of the inclusion of Senegal in the list of the safe third countries.

The Tribunal found that, according to the documentation elaborated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the region of Casamance cannot be considered safe for potential victims of FGM, those deemed to be more vulnerable, members of the LGBT community, journalists and rights activists. Moreover, it considered that the transposition of the recast Asylum Procedures Directive into Italian law (art. 2 bis, par. 2, Dlsg 25/2008), allows the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to explicitly exclude unsafe areas of the country from the general scope of “safety”.

In this sense, The Tribunal considered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should have excluded the region of Casamance from being considered a safe third country and concluded that the initial decision was unlawful.

Many thanks to Riccardo Viviani, Judicial Engagement Expert at UNHCR Italy, for notifying ELENA of this judgment. Thank you to Francesca Zalambani, Legal Assistant at ECRE, for assisting us with the summary. Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU team.

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.                                               


Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Safe third country
Sexual orientation