Sweden: Route to safe area in country of origin must also be assessed in return rulings

Monday, September 2, 2019

On 2 September 2019, the Migration Court of Appeal annulled a decision of the Migration Board due to its failure to fully assess the international protection needs of an asylum applicant of Afghan origin.

The applicant’s asylum case was refused in October 2017 on the grounds that the applicant had not established a well-founded fear of persecution, particularly given his situation as a single, able-bodied young man. The applicant brought the decision to the Administrative Court of Malmö, which rejected the appeal finding that the applicant’s information was not credible.

On appeal, the Migration Court of Appeal ruled that in assessing the case, the authority must examine if the applicant can safely and legally travel to and gain admittance to that part of the country. Citing the ruling in Sufi and Elmi v. United Kingdom in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) as well as case law from the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in the United Kingdom, the Court held that an assessment of protection needs must include an examination as to whether the applicant can safely and legally travel to the internal protection area without being subject to a risk of ill-treatment according to Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). 

Regarding the burden of proof necessary in an assessment of whether the applicant can safely and legally travel to the specified area, the Court held that although the asylum applicant should establish their need for international protection, the Migration Board also has an obligation to ensure that each individual case for protection is sufficiently examined, including an assessment of the journey the applicant must make. The Migration Court of Appeal thus ruled that the Migration Board did not conduct a sufficiently thorough examination of the applicant’s need for international protection. The Court ordered the Migration Board to re-assess the applicant's case.

Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU team.

Photo: Dennis Hill, November 2012, 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.



Burden of proof
Credibility assessment