Expulsion of trafficking victim is stopped by the UN Committee Against Torture

Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers
March 18, 2019
Phone: +46 70 725 19 17 / 
Email: info@shrl.eu

Expulsion of trafficking victim is stopped by the UN Committee Against Torture

Scandinavian Human Rights lawyers represent Joy, who survived human trafficking for sexual purposes, and her little son. The family’s application for asylum was rejected in Sweden and the Swedish Migration Board has decided on expulsion. In the case, the Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings has argued that Joy and her son, are at risk of being subjected to violence, trafficking and, in worst case, death by the criminal network of traffickers who have sold and exploited her previously. After the Scandinavian Human Rights lawyers filed a complaint with the UN Committee against Torture, the Committee has decided to request that the Swedish government stops the expulsion and that the matter will be examined by the Committee.

It is not possible to describe in words how happy the clients are that they are now informed that the deportation is stopped. We claim that a deportation of the family is contrary to Article 3 of the UN Convention against Torture and Article 3 of the European Convention. It follows from these provisions that a state may not execute a rejection or expulsion order in a country if the alien is at risk of being subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in that country. Current country information describes major risks for a previous traffic victim when returning to Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities often lack resources to protect the victims. Our clients are thus at great risk of being exposed to torture or other inhuman treatment, says Ruth Nordström, Chief Legal Counsel Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers

It is worrying that Swedish authorities do not take into account the specific aspects in cases involving victims of human trafficking as they examine these cases. Officers at Swedish authorities do not seem to apply the specific commitments that Sweden has made regarding victims of human trafficking and the often deeply traumatic experiences that the victims and their children have been subjected to, says Rebecca Ahlstrand, lawyer at the Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers.

Sweden’s international commitments, under the UN Convention against Torture, the European Convention and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, mean that every child has the right to protection and respect for human rights. The Swedish Migration Board and Swedish courts have not sufficiently considered and applied these conventions in the process. An expulsion is thus contrary to human rights and to the child’s best interests, says Ruth Nordström, lawyer at the Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers.