Pays d’origine sûrs – Asile interne / Safe Countries of Origin – Internal Asylum


Cour EDH, 28 June 2011, Sufi and Elmi v. The United Kingdom, Applications nos. 8319/07 and 11449/07, § 35 [Okc blog asile interne] : “It is a well-established principle that persons will generally not be in need of asylum or subsidiary protection if they could obtain protection by moving elsewhere in their own country. This principle is reflected both in article 8 of the Qualification Directive and paragraph 3390 of the Immigration Rules HC 395 (as amended), both of which provide that an applicant is not in need of international protection if there is a part of the country of origin where there is no well-founded fear of persecution or real risk of suffering serious harm, and where the applicant can reasonably be expected to stay”; § 263: “The Court recalls that Article 3 does not, as such, preclude Contracting States from placing reliance on the existence of an internal flight alternative in their assessment of an individual’s claim that a return to his country of origin would expose him to a real risk of being subjected to treatment proscribed by that provision (Salah Sheekh v. the Netherlands, no. 1948/04, § 141, ECHR 2007‑I (extracts), Chahal v. the United Kingdom, 15 November 1996, § 98, Reports of Judgments and Decisions 1996‑V and Hilal v. the United Kingdom, no. 45276/99, §§ 67 – 68, ECHR 2001‑II). However, the Court has held that reliance on an internal flight alternative does not affect the responsibility of the expelling Contracting State to ensure that the applicant is not, as a result of its decision to expel, exposed to treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention (Salah Sheekh v. the Netherlands, cited above, § 141 and T.I. v. the United Kingdom (dec.), no. 43844/98, ECHR 2000-III). Therefore, as a precondition of relying on an internal flight alternative, certain guarantees have to be in place: the person to be expelled must be able to travel to the area concerned, gain admittance and settle there, failing which an issue under Article 3 may arise, the more so if in the absence of such guarantees there is a possibility of his ending up in a part of the country of origin where he may be subjected to ill-treatment (Salah Sheekh v. the Netherlands, cited above, § 141)”; § 267: “the Court considers it reasonably likely that he would have to seek refuge in an IDP settlement or refugee camp. Therefore, in considering the internal flight alternative, the Court will first consider whether a returnee would be exposed to a risk of ill-treatment either in transit or upon settling in another part of southern and central Somalia before considering whether he would be at risk of ill-treatment in an IDP or refugee camp on account of the humanitarian conditions there”; § 294: “Nevertheless, Article 3 does not preclude the Contracting States from placing reliance on the internal flight alternative provided that the returnee could travel to, gain admittance to and settle in the area in question without being exposed to a real risk of Article 3 ill-treatment. In this regard, the Court accepts that there may be parts of southern and central Somalia where a returnee would not necessarily be at real risk of Article 3 ill-treatment solely on account of the situation of general violence (see paragraph 270, above). However, in the context of Somalia, the Court considers that this could only apply if the applicant had close family connections in the area concerned, where he could effectively seek refuge. If he has no such connections, or if those connections are in an area which he could not safely reach, the Court considers that there is a likelihood that he would have to have recourse to either an IDP or refugee camp (see paragraph 266, above)”.


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Shacknove A., “Safe Countries”, in L.-A. Sicilianos (dir.), Nouvelles formes de discrimination / New Forms of Discrimination, Actes du séminaire international d’experts sur la prévention des discriminations à l’égard des immigrés, des réfugiés et des personnes appartenant à des minorités, organisé par l’UNESCO et la FMDH à Olympie (Grèce) les 13 et 14 mai 1994, Paris, Pedone, Publications de la Fondation Marangopoulos pour les droits de l’homme, Série n° 2, 1995, pp. 153-159.

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