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Universal-MigrationHRlaw-PG-no-6-Publications-PractitionersGuide-2014-eng

Universal-MigrationHRlaw-PG-no-6-Publications-PractitionersGuide-2014-eng

114 | PRACTITIONERS

114 | PRACTITIONERS GUIDE No. 6protection of non-refoulement, it can also originate from non-State actorswhen the State is unwilling or unable to protect the person at risk.This flows from the importance of the rights at stake 317 and from theprinciples applicable in international refugee law. 318The Committee against Torture is the only international human rightsbody which has distanced itself from this principle, due to the limiteddefinition of torture provided for by the Convention against Torture,which excludes the conduct of non-state actors. 319 However, even in thiscontext, the Committee accepted that in cases of war-torn countries,where non-State factions have the control of a part of the territory, therisk of being subject to torture by these non-State actors, who exercisea quasi-governmental function, can trigger the protection of the principleof non-refoulement. 320 The Committee construes this exemptionstrictly and it must be considered exceptionally applicable to “failedStates”. 321c) Standard of proof: substantial grounds for beliefTo demonstrate that a risk to an individual subject to transfer is “real”,the standard of proof is that substantial grounds have been shownfor believing 322 that the person risks being subject to a serious violationof his or her human rights. This must be assessed on grounds317 Na v. United Kingdom, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 309, para. 110. See also H.L.R. v. France, ECtHR, op.cit., fn. 43, para. 40; Salah Sheekh v. the Netherlands, ECtHR, Application No. 1948/04, Judgmentof 11 January 2007, paras. 137, 147; N. v. Finland, ECtHR, Application No. 38885/02,Judgment of 26 July 2005, paras. 163–165; M.E. v. France, ECtHR, Application No. 50094/10,Judgment of 6 June 2013, paras. 47–53; Auad v. Bulgaria, ECtHR, Application No. 49390/10,Judgment of 11 October 2011, para. 98: “What is relevant in this context is whether the applicantis able to obtain protection against and seek redress for the acts perpetrated againsthim or her”.318 UNHCR, Agents of Persecution, op. cit., fn. 82, para. 4. See also, UNHCR Handbook,op. cit., fn. 66, para. 65; Naveed Akram Choudhary v. Canada, CCPR, CommunicationNo. 1898/2009, Views of 28 October 2013, paras. 9.7–9.8; Concluding Observations onFrance, CCPR, op. cit., fn. 82, para. 408; Recommendation 1440 (2000), PACE, op. cit.,fn. 82, para. 6.319 G.R.B. v. Sweden, CAT, Communication No. 83/1997, Views of 15 May 1998, para. 6.5.See also, M.P.S. v. Australia, CAT, Communication No. 138/1999, Views of 30 April 2002,para. 7.4; S.V. et al. v. Canada, CAT, Communication No. 49/1996, Views of 15 May 2001,para. 9.5.320 Sadiq Shek Elmi v. Australia, CAT, Communication No. 120/1998, Views of 25 May 1999,para. 6.5.321 H.M.H.I. v. Australia, CAT, Communication No. 177/2001, Views of 1 May 2002, paras. 6.4–6.6.322 Na v. United Kingdom, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 309, paras. 109, 113; Saadi v. Italy, ECtHR,op. cit., fn. 309, para. 125; Nnyanzi v. United Kingdom, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 309, para. 51;Cruz Varas and Others v. Sweden, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 309, para. 69; Chahal v. the UnitedKingdom, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 43, para. 74; Soering v. United Kingdom, ECtHR, op. cit.,fn. 295, paras. 85–91. See also, Haydin v. Sweden, CAT, Communication No. 101/1997,Views of 16 December 1998, para. 6.5; C.T. and K.M. v. Sweden, CAT, CommunicationNo. 279/2005, Views of 22 January 2007, para. 7.3; and A.R.J. v. Australia, CCPR, CommunicationNo. 692/1996**, Views of 11 August 1997, para. 6.14.

MIGRATION AND INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW | 115that go beyond mere theory or suspicion. More precisely, the risk neednot be highly probable, but it must be personal and present. 323To establish that the risk following transfer is “personal” it must beshown that the applicant risks as an individual to be subject to a seriousviolation of his or her human rights if transferred. However, the persondoes not have to demonstrate that he or she is being individually targeted.While the demonstration of the individual risk per se might bevery onerous, there are two types of situations where the risk will beeasier to prove.Where it can be shown that the State to which the person is to be transferredviolates the rights of (or fails to protect from such violations) otherpeople in similar circumstances, e.g. members of the same religion,ethnic minority, political party or association, suspected terrorists, detainees(if he or she risks being subject to detention once repatriated),or persons who applied for asylum in other States. In such cases, it willbe necessary to demonstrate a widespread or general practice againstthe group and a link between the person to be expelled and the group.The link must be close. Mere membership of a group at risk might notbe sufficient, if only certain categories of members of the group aregenerally targeted, e.g. senior members of an opposition political party.324 However, risk may sometimes be identified in respect of large orgeneral groups, for example, all those detained and accused of criminaloffences, 325 or all those facing a prison sentence. 326In addition, international human rights bodies may, in exceptional circumstances,recognise non-refoulement protection for mere generalsituations of violence in the country of destination. This will occur onlywhere there is a real risk simply by virtue of an individual being exposed323 Haydin v. Sweden, CAT, op. cit., fn. 322, para. 6.5. See also, C.T. and K.M. v. Sweden, CAT,op. cit., fn. 322, para. 7.3. This is in contrast, for example, with the practice followed in theUSA of applying a “more likely than not” standard in non-refoulement procedures, which theHuman Rights Committee considered not to be in compliance with the principle of non-refoulementunder Article 7 ICCPR. See, Concluding Observations on USA, CCPR, UN Doc.CCPR/C/USA/CO/3, 15 September 2006.324 Zhakhongir Maksudov and Others v. Kyrgyzstan, CCPR, Communications Nos. 1461, 1462,1476 & 1477/2006*, Views of 31 July 2008, para. 12.5; Na v. United Kingdom, ECtHR,op. cit., fn. 309, paras. 116–117. See also, Saadi v. Italy, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 309, para. 132.Salah Sheekh v. the Netherlands, ECtHR, op. cit., fn. 317, para. 148; Isakov v. Russia,ECtHR, Application No. 14049/08, Judgment of 8 July 2010, para. 109; Yuldashev v. Russia,ECtHR, Application No. 1248/09, 8 July 2010, para. 83 (detainees); S.H. v. United Kingdom,ECtHR, Application No. 19956/06, Judgment of 15 June 2010 (where the Court foundthat the closeness of the Bhutanese Government in addition with policies of discriminationagainst the Nepalese ethnicity would be sufficient to enhance the non-refoulement protection);M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, ECtHR, GC, Application No. 30696/09, Judgment of21 January 2011, paras. 296–297.325 Khodzhayev v. Russia, ECtHR, Application No. 52466/08, Judgment of 12 May 2010.326 Kolesnik v. Russia, ECtHR, Application No. 26876/08, Judgment of 17 July 2010, para. 72.

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    ISBN 978-92-9037-151-X

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