UN Human Rights Committee: Communication no. 2470/2014, deportation from Denmark to Italy

Monday, October 9, 2017

The UN Human Rights Committee has recently published its views regarding communication no. 2470/2014, which concerned the deportation of a Somali woman and her young child from Denmark to Italy. In 2011, Ms Hashi fled Somalia because of her fear of persecution by Al-Shabaab, a jihadist fundamentalist group in Somalia, due to her relations with a man without divorcing her first husband. In August 2011, the applicant arrived in Italy by boat and was placed in reception facilities, which were very poor and only provided her with one meal a day. At some point, the applicant became pregnant and felt sick several times, without access to a hospital or particular care. Fearing giving birth without access to medical care, she travelled to Sweden where she had her baby. She then travelled to Denmark where she applied for asylum without success, since Italy was considered a first country of asylum. The applicant complained before the UN Human Rights Committee that her deportation from Denmark to Italy would violate her rights under Article 7 ICCPR.

The Committee noted that available reports indicate that there is a lack of available places in reception facilities in Italy for asylum seekers and returnees under the Dublin Regulation. It recalled that Denmark’s evaluation had to be based not only on an assessment of the general conditions in Italy, but also on the individual circumstances of the applicants, which could include factors that increase their vulnerability and could transform a situation that is tolerable for most into an intolerable situation for them. The Committee also affirmed that the previous experiences of the removed individuals may underscore the special risks that they are likely to face upon return. Previous experience can also render return a particularly traumatic experience for the applicants. Finally, since the information before the Committee indicated that persons in a similar situation to that of the applicant often end up living on the streets or in precarious conditions, without assured access to housing and medical care, the UN Human Rights Committee found that the return of the applicant and her son from Denmark to Italy, without specific assurances, would amount to a violation of Article 7 ICCPR.


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Effective access to procedures
Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Material reception conditions
Reception conditions