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Netherlands / Council of State / ECLI:NL:RVS:2016:575

Secretary of State (Immigration) v Alien

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Council of State
Decision date:

Key fats of the case: 

On 2 February 2015 the Secretary of State for Immigration rejected a request of an alien to give him and his children, who are under age, a residence permit for a definite period of time in the Netherlands. The District Court annulled this decision on 7 September 2015 and stipulated that the Secretary should take a new decision. The Secretary of State appealed against the judgement. It is clear that Malta, and not the Netherlands, should deal with  the request, which has been filed in the Netherlands. The alien and his children should therefore be transferred to Malta. It is also clear that the alien has not proven that it is likely without doubt that a transfer to Malta is in conflict with Article 3 ECHR, which says that nobody should be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment. The alien says that this will be the case in Malta. The District Court agreed and held that it was not convinced that the Maltese authorities should not be asked guarantees about the shelter of the alien and his children, who are under age. The Council of State holds that is is true that there are major problems in terms of shelter, such as a lack of hygiene and personal safety, uncomfortable living circumstances due to the heat and inadequate ventilation. However, Maltese authorities pay special attention to vulnerable persons and they are received in separate open shelters. Children have a right to education and recreational activities. There is therefore no conflict with human dignitiy and the interests of children when the alien and his children are transferred to Malta (Article 1 and 24 of the Charter, among other things)

Outcome of the case: 

Malta provides sufficient safeguards in terms of special shelter to an alien and his children who are under age, so that a transfer is not in conflict with human dignity and the interests of children.