018-750 52 11
018-750 52 11

The European Court of Human Rights makes final decision in human trafficking case

Press release October 18, 2017
EU Anti Human Trafficking Day

Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers
Oct 18, 2017 - PRESS RELEASE
 +46 (0) 18 – 750 52 11 / Email: info@shrl.eu

The European Court of Human Rights makes final decision in human trafficking case

On October 5, 2017 the European Court of Human Rights decided to close the case of C.A. and P.A. v. Sweden (75348/16) as the Swedish authorities have now assured the European Court that a 28-year-old mother and her 6-year-old daughter will not be transferred to Italy but will have their application for asylum examined in Sweden. The European Court of Human Rights therefore considers that the family is no longer at risk of inhumane and degrading treatment or slavery in the form of trafficking in human beings in Italy, thus closing the case.

The background of the case is that, on December 9, 2016, the European Court stopped the transfer of the woman and her daughter to Italy in accordance with the Dublin Regulation when Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers made a notification under Rule 39. The European Court decided to stop the transfer, which has been decided by the Swedish authorities, until further notice as there were no individual guarantees for protection and assistance from Italy, where they were previously exposed to gross trafficking in human beings. The Swedish Government pointed out that Italy provided general guarantees, but this was not considered sufficient and on December 21, 2016, the European Court decided on further interim measures.

The mother and daughter are fleeing from traffickers who sold the mother as a sex slave in Italy. They put a gun against the daughter's tinning, lit cigarettes and burned her on the body. Then they raped the mother while her daughter was forced to watch. The daughter saw the assault and how the mother was beaten and battered until she bled. Because of the trauma, the daughter stopped eating, talking and playing and was forced to wear diapers again. The traffickers took their passports and paper, cut off their hair and threatened to kill them. They have told the mother that wherever she hides, they will look for her and kill her and her daughter. With help the mother and daughter were able to flee to Sweden, but the Swedish Immigration Service and Swedish courts decided to send them back to Italy, where they were previously were subjected to trafficking in human beings.

- We are rejoicing with our clients who are now protected from being transferred to Italy where they are at risk of being subjected to human trafficking and abuse by the traffickers that previously raped, sold and threatened them", said Ruth Nordström, Chief Counsel of Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers.

- Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers hope that Swedish authorities will take the interim decision of the European Court seriously and change the practice of routinely transferring human trafficking victims to other European countries where they at risk of being traumatized and abused by traffickers”, says Rebecca Ahlstrand, lawyer of Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers.

- Swedish authorities need to increase knowledge about trafficking in human beings and the commitments that Sweden has undertaken, such as the European Convention, EU Law and the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. Today, knowledge within decision-making authorities needs to be enhanced and changes in practices are needed - we hope this decision can influence the authorities, says Ruth Nordström, Chief Counsel of Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers.

Read the entire decision: HERE

Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers is a Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights and human dignity in Scandinavia and Europe. Scandinavian Human Rights Lawyers implements an effective strategy of advocacy, networking and education on legal issues.