Switzerland: Execution of removal order deemed unreasonable on grounds of mental health and family rights

Thursday, October 10, 2019

On 10 October 2019, the Swiss Federal Administrative Court published its ruling in the case E-6932/2017, concerning the expulsion of a family of international protection applicants.
The applicants, a couple from Bosnia and Herzegovina of Roma origin applied for international protection in Switzerland in 1997. The application was rejected and their expulsion was ordered. In July 2015, the applicants returned to Switzerland with their two sons and made another application for international protection, primarily on the basis that the mother applicant suffered from severe PTSD and depression. The applicant argued, inter alia, that expulsion would be detrimental to her mental health as the required psychiatric treatment was not available in her country of origin, and that expulsion would be detrimental to the welfare of her children.
Medical evidence showed that the applicant suffered from severe and reoccurring episodes of PTSD, depression, suicidal tendencies, and had been resistant to therapy and other treatment. The symptoms were such that the applicant required consistent support in a safe environment on a long-term basis. Indeed, the Court noted, inter alia, that the applicant would require specialist care and the family may not be able to afford the health insurance premiums. There was therefore a real risk that expulsion would result in the deterioration of the applicant’s mental health.
The Court also noted that the applicant’s minor sons had spent their formative years in Switzerland and integrated well into society. Moreover, it highlighted the close relationship between the applicant children and mother, and even acknowledged evidence of emotional parentification. As a result, the Court concluded that the expulsion order was unreasonable and that the family be provisionally admitted to remain in Switzerland.

Based on an unofficial translation by the EWLU team.

Photo: Shannon O'Toole, December 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.



Health (right to)
Vulnerable person