The Netherlands – District Court rules in a case concerning the asylum claim of a Ukrainian separatist

Monday, November 12, 2018

The applicant, a Ukrainian national, applied for asylum in the Netherlands, claiming that she was accused of being a separatist, having also been subjected to sexual and gender-based violence. Despite finding that the applicant’s statements were credible, the domestic authorities rejected her claim, as Ukraine is designed as a safe country of origin in The Netherlands, with the only exception being the region of Crimea and some parts of the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk.

The District Court disagreed with the authorities, noting that the applicant’s vulnerability should have been a central point in the assessment of an internal flight alternative. The authorities also disregarded the applicant’s individual circumstances, such as the fact that she is a single woman from a separatist region and that she claimed having been designated as a 'separatist'. According to the Court, the latter could mean that she could also face risks in parts of the country that are generally considered safe, a possibility that the authorities failed to assess.

Similarly, the Court considered the applicant to be an Internally Displaced Person, a group that lived under difficult circumstances in Ukraine, often unable to access primary health care and psychosocial support. Lastly, the applicant’s inability to rely on family support and a medical report on the applicant’s mental health situation were also found to have been summarily disregarded by the authorities.

The Court annulled the contested decision, stating that the authorities did not duly investigate the facts of the case and failed to provide sufficient reasoning.

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA 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 published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.                                                




Safe country of origin
Vulnerable person