A.N. v. Switzerland, Communication 742/2016

CSDM obtains a landmark victory for torture victims worldwide: the right to rehabilitation under Article 14 of the United Nations Convention against Torture imposes limitations on a state’s power to expel torture survivors who would face interruption of medical treatment in the country of destination. The Convention against Torture is one of the most widely ratified human rights treaties and has 164 State parties (as of June 2018). 

In a landmark decision of 3 August 2018, A.N. v. Switzerland, Communication 742/2016, the United Nations Committee against Torture ruled that the expulsion of an Eritrean torture victim to Italy under the Dublin Regulation would violate his rights under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by depriving him of the medical treatment necessary for his rehabilitation. A torture victim’s right to rehabilitation is guaranteed under Article 14 of the UN Convention against Torture. The Committee found that the deprivation of medical care which is necessary to treat the physical and psychological after-effects of torture amounts to ill-treatment under Article 16 of the Convention, and therefore engages the State Party’s non-refoulement obligations.

After a 3-year battle, caused by the Swiss authorities’ misapplication of the Dublin III Regulation, our client will now have right to pursue his request for international protection in Switzerland (for a detailed critique of Switzerland’s Dublin Practice, see our intervention before the Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council, 1 October 2018.)

CSDM Press release:

Parliamentary interpellation: 

  • Interpellation, Mattea Meyer, 18.3981Auswirkungen des Entscheids des Uno-Ausschusses gegen Folter für zukünftige Dublin-Verfahren von besonders verletzlichen Personen (supported by Ms. Ada Marra, Ms. Lisa Mazzone, Mr. Fabian Molina, Mr. Cédric Wermut).

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