What Human Rights do for those seeking refuge

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Seeking Refuge
2014
UK

Asylum seekers are protected from homelesness and destitution

Related European Convention Articles

EM was an Eritrean man who experienced persecution in his home country for being a Christian, and moved to Italy, only to find himself homeless and destitute. He sought asylum in the UK, and resisted deportation. The court found if it could be established similar conditions would be present if he were deported to Italy, this would be contrary to his right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment.

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Seeking Refuge
2001
Europe

You can escape police persecution for your beliefs

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A Tanzanian national faced police beatings, attacks by solders and life-threatening prison conditions due to his activity in the political opposition. He faced a real risk of harm if deported, and was prevented from being forcibly returned.

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    Seeking Refuge
    1999
    UK

    Oppressed and persecuted women can seek safety

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    A vital step in ensuring the rights of female asylum seekers. Two women faced the risk of criminal proceedings for sexual immorality if they were forced to return to Pakistan. The court said the women were part of a persecuted group and should be granted asylum.

    Seeking Refuge
    2000
    UK

    The state must protect women from sexual slavery

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    Women trafficked in Ukraine for sexual servitude could be classified as a persecuted social group, as the authorities are unable or unwilling to protect them. In this case, asylum was granted to two women.

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      Seeking Refuge
      2008
      Europe

      Asylum seekers are offered protection from complex, evolving conflicts

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      The case illustrates the complexities of assessing what a ‘real risk’ entails, as the court had to consider the evolving political situation in Sri Lanka, taking into account many reports from government and NGO sources. In the conclusion, however, it found that forcing NA to return to his homeland, would at that time, be in violation of the right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment, and NA was protected from potential harms.

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      Seeking Refuge
      2008
      UK

      Children aren’t returned to danger

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      Removal from the UK would have a negative impact on a 13-year-old's private life, as he would have been forced into a home with unsafe conditions back in Vietnam. Human rights legislation prevented this from occurring.

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        Justice
        2014
        UK

        Everyone deserves access to justice – that means legal aid where necessary

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        In this decision, the right to legal aid is discussed by the court. It is established that in some cases, in order for access to justice to be achieved, legal aid must be granted when there would be an obvious unfairness.

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          Seeking Refuge
          2006
          UK

          FGM is recognised as torture

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          A woman from Sierra Leone was part of a social group at risk of female genital mutilation. If she returned, should was at risk of excruciating pain and death. As a result of this case, women at risk of FGM are far more likely to receive asylum.

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          Seeking Refuge
          2008
          Europe

          Unreasonable delays in prolonging detention are unacceptable

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          The court states that detention or arrest of a person is only lawful in cases of non-compliance with the lawful order of a court, or in order to secure the fulfilment of any obligation prescribed by law. As the appellant fit neither of these criteria, the Court ruled that his detention had been unlawful under the terms of ECHR.

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          TOP 50
          50 Cases
          2010
          UK

          Gay and lesbian people can’t be returned to persecution

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          Under the United Nations Refugee Convention, social groups that have a well-founded fear of persecution are refugees. In this case, the Supreme Court said gays and lesbians could not be expected to live closeted lives in places they are persecuted.

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          Children
          2012
          UK

          Unaccompanied minors claiming asylum must be properly cared for

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          The eight appellants had arrived from Afghanistan as unaccompanied minors and were at that time aged between 15 and 16. The Home Office refused their asylum claims but granted each of them Discretionary Leave until they reached 17½, but it was found that the duty to the minors goes further than this in order to protect the minor’s best interests.

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          Seeking Refuge
          1997
          Europe

          AIDS sufferers can’t be deported when home country treatment is inadequate

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          D argued that his expulsion to St Kitts would in effect result in the termination of the medical treatment he was receiving, which would hasten his death since no similar medical treatment was available in St Kitts.

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          Seeking Refuge
          2009
          UK

          People don’t have to go back to a place that makes them suicidal

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          Inhuman treatment is unconditionally prohibited by article 3 of the ECHR, and in this case it was found that a risk of suicide upon deportation can be included within this definition. The appellants were Tamil Sri Lankans, brother and sister, who had been tortured by government security forces leading them to both suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Their asylum claims made on a humanitarian basis were rejected, but it was found that a return to Sri Lanka could lead to a strengthening of suicidal thoughts. Preventing their deportation through the ECHR can be seen as a success in protecting the rights of asylum seekers suffering from mental illnesses.

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          Seeking Refuge
          2001
          UK

          Fake documents are sometimes only way to flee danger – people must still be protected

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          This case involved claims brought forward by an Algerian, an Iraqi Kurd and an Albanian, challenging their prosecutions by Crown Prosecution Services for travelling to, or attempting to travel from, the UK on false papers. The act of seeking asylum should not be criminalised.

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            Seeking Refuge
            2010
            Europe

            If you face racial discrimination at home, you can seek refuge elsewhere

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            The court ruled in favour of a Bhutanese national’s claim for asylum on the grounds that his removal to Bhutan would expose him to a risk of ill-treatment due to his Nepali minority ethnicity. The court maintained that acts motivated by racial discrimination will constitute an aggravating factor.

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              TOP 50
              50 Cases
              2004
              UK

              No race barriers to asylum

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              British immigration officers at Prague airport were told to make it more difficult for Roma people to come here. The court said that racial discrimination at any point in the asylum process is not permitted, and no race of people is excluded from the right to asylum.

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                Seeking Refuge
                2011
                Europe

                Sending people back to armed conflict & chaotic violence isn’t OK

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                A key question in refugee cases is whether a person is at a "real risk" of inhuman treatment. In this case, Somalia was said to be a failed state meaning it was unlikely people would be sent back there.

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                Seeking Refuge
                2012
                UK

                Asylum seekers have a right to accommodation whilst awaiting decisions

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                This landmark ruling found that the failure of the Home Office to provide access to support for asylum seekers waiting for a decision on their further claim for asylum for a minimum of three weeks is leading to homelessness and destitution.

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                  TOP 50
                  50 Cases
                  2011
                  UK

                  Children’s views are key in deportation cases

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                  The Supreme Court decided that where a parent is deported, the rights of their children must be a primary consideration An asylum-seeker mother was allowed to remain in the UK because deporting her would breach her children's rights to respect for private and family life.

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                  Seeking Refuge
                  2011
                  Europe

                  No-one should endure inhuman or degrading treatment

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                  The conditions faced by asylum seekers in Greece were deemed tantamount to “inhuman or degrading treatment,” and Greece and Belgium were both found to be in violation of the ECHR. The appellant’s detention and living conditions while in Greece meant that both Greece and Belgium were in violation if a deportation were to be enforced.

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                  Seeking Refuge
                  2004
                  UK

                  Asylum seekers have a right to preserve their mental stability

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                  The ECHR gives people the right to a private and family life. In this case, it was shown that mental health can be considered a component of this right. Razgar was an Iraqi asylum seeker who was to be deported to be Germany. It was shown that the effects of deportation would be seriously harmful to his mental health. Consequently, Razgar was allowed to stay in the UK, relying on right to the preservation of his mental stability.

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                    Seeking Refuge
                    2012
                    Europe

                    Refugees have a right to reunite with their families

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                    The European Court of Human Rights held that the UK Government’s refusal to allow the family reunion of a refugee and his wife under relevant immigration rules was unlawfully discriminatory against the refugee on the basis of his immigration status. Every person has the right to a private and family life.

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                      What Human Rights do for those seeking refuge
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