Netherlands: Designation of ‘safe country of origin’ clarified by Council of State

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

On 14 September 2016, the Council of stated reviewed the legality of the designation of Albania as a safe country of origin. In this case, the Council of State clarified under which conditions a country may be designated a safe country of origin. 

First, the country should have adopted domestic laws prohibiting human rights violations and should have protected its residents against these human rights violations in practice. Second, the Secretary of State should carefully examine the situation in the country concerned and sufficiently substantiate the decision to list a country as a safe country of origin. Third, the State Secretary must address the statements of the asylum seeker regarding the security situation in his or her country of origin as well as the circumstances which pertain to the individual in order to assess whether the applicant has a well-founded fear for persecution against which there is no protection.

In the present case, the Council of State found that the Secretary of State had carefully examined the situation in Albania and sufficiently substantiated the decision to list it as a safe country of origin.

See also the Advocate General’s opinion regarding the ‘Safe Country’ concept in asylum cases.

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Individual assessment
Persecution (acts of)
Safe country of origin