N.H. contre Suisse, Communication no. 1024/2020

Le requérant est un jeune homme érythréen qui sera soumis à des mauvais traitements et le travail forcé en cas de renvoi en Erythrée vu qu’il est considéré comme une personne oppositionnelle au régime. Il a notamment quitté l’Érythrée de manière illégale alors qu’il était proche à l’âge de servir et sera entre autres, accusé de réfraction. Sa demande d’asile a été rejetée sans examen approfondi, tout comme le cas M.G. contre Suisse où le Comité contre la torture de l’ONU avait conclu à une violation des droits procéduraux du requérant (décision du CAT no. 811/2017). La plainte est actuellement en cours et le Comité contre la Torture a accordé l’effet suspensif.

Violence des gangs au Salvador : le Comité des droits de l’Enfant suspend le renvoi d’une famille avec six enfants.

L’affaire A.R. et autres c. Suisse, CDE no. 120/2020 concerne six enfants âgés entre 1 et 12 ans accompagnés par leurs parents. Dans leur pays d’origine ils risquent devenir victimes de violences par le gang qui contrôle le quartier où ils vivaient en raison du fait qu’un membre de leur famille élargie est le chef d’un gang. De plus, ils risquent le recrutement forcé par les gangs, ne peuvent aller à l’école sans être victimes de violences et de menaces et sont contraints de rester constamment enfermés à la maison en dehors des heures de scolarité. Leur renvoi de Suisse les mettrait donc concrètement en danger et constituerait un traitement inhumain et dégradant en violation de l’art. 37(a) de la Convention de l’ONU relative aux droits de l’enfant (CDE). Ces risques étaient étayés lors de la procédure nationale mais les autorités suisses ne les ont aucunement pris en considération. Les requérants se plaignent aussi que les autorités suisses n’ont pas entendu (art. 12) les requérants sur les griefs spécifiques aux risques qu’ils encourent ni entrepris une analyse de l’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant (art. 3(1)) avant de décider de les expulser. La plainte est actuellement en cours et le Comité des droits de l’Enfant a accordé l’effet suspensif.

URGENT UPDATE: Maersk confirms that 3 migrants jumped over board on the Etienne, Malta still refuses safe port.

On Friday 4th September 2020, the CSDM along with Alarm Phone, Sea-Watch and Mediterranea lodged an appeal seeking an urgent intervention by the UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture and on Migrants Rights concerning the 27 migrants on board the Maersk Etienne. The Government of Malta still refuses to provide a safe port.

Today, the CSDM spoke to an official of Danish Shipping industry and confirmed that on Sunday 6th September 2020, 3 migrants jumped over board the Etienne in to the Mediterranean Sea risking serious injuries. The migrants were rescued by the Etienne crew, but there are deep concerns of significant psychological harm to the 3 migrants and also to the others on board. The Maersk crew on board continue to provide support and resrouces to the migrants in these difficult circumstances. An update to the appeal has now been submitted to the UN Special Rapporteurs, urging an immediate invervention.

Download .pdf of the Update to the Urgent Appeal, lodged on 7th September 2020 concerning the serious deterioration situation on board the Etienne.

It has now been 33 days since the Government of Malta has continued to refuse a safe port for the migrants on board, leaving them stranded without adequate food, water, medical resources or basic safety. This is the longest period of time that a commercial boat with rescued migrants has been denied a safe port in recent history.

The International Chamber of Shipping, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have all issued a statement condemning the Maltese and wider European response to the humanitarian crisis and urged the Government of Malta to permit the migrants to disembark.

We urge the UN Special Rapporteurs to immediately intervene by contacting the Government of Malta under the UN Special Procedures Mechanism and help ensure humanitarian assistance and safe disembarkation for the migrants on board.

CSDM, Alarm Phone, Sea-Watch and Mediterranea request urgent intervention from UN Special Rapporteurs for 27 migrants on board ‘Maersk Etienne’

Today, the CSDM collaborated with Alarm Phone, Sea-Watch and Mediterranea – Saving Humans, requested an urgent intervention from United Nations Special Rapporteurs seeking humanitarian assistance and safe disembarkation from the Government of Malta for the 27 migrants rescued and on board the commercial vessel Maersk Etienne.

Download .pdf of letter sent to UN Special Rapporteurs seeking urgent intervention for migrants on board Maersk Etienne

The 27 individuals, including a child and pregnant woman, were rescued by the commercial vessel Maersk Etienne on 5th August 2020 while fleeing from Libya, where migrants are subject to torture, inhumane and degrading treatment. In accordance with international human rights norms and standards and established principles of maritime law, permission was sought from the Maltese government for the migrants to disembark at a Maltese port. This permission has been unlawfully refused.

It has now been 30 days since the Maltese government refused permission to disembark and the vessel remains effectively stranded in the Mediterranean Sea. An official for Maersk has stated “our crew continue to provide as much support and assistance as they can to this vulnerable group, but they lack the resources to offer sustained humanitarian and medical care… a tanker ship is neither designed nor equipped to accommodate additional people; we therefore find ourselves in a situation where our supplies are rapidly depleting”. Despite the plea for humanitarian assistance and safe disembarkation, the Maltese governemnt have continued to refuse to cooperate.

In a letter to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture and on the Rights of Migrants, the CSDM, Alarm Phone, Sea-Watch and Mediterranea – Saving Humans request an urgent intervention to ensure that the migrants are permitted to disembark and for international human rights law to be enforced.

Torture of Migrants in Libya: “Can Italy be Held Accountable under Article 20 UNCAT for its Role in the ‘Pull-back’ of Migrants”?

In the Swiss law journal Asyl, we explore whether Italy can be held accountable under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment for the human rights violations againt migrants pulled back to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard.

For article in pdf, click here.