ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2016.07.15

View Adopted: 2021.07.22

J.R.R. et al v Denmark

Deportation of family to Bulgaria would not violate rights of the child or prohibition on torture/ill-treatment.

Substantive Issues
  • Best interest of the child
  • Deportation
  • Torture / ill-treatment
Relevant Articles
  • Article 2 - OP1
  • Article 24
  • Article 5.2 (b) - OP1
  • Article 7
Full Text


Authors are Syrian nationals whose application for asylum protection (submitted on their behalf and on behalf of their two minor children) was denied by the Danish Immigration Service, on the grounds that they had previously been granted protection and residence permits in Bulgaria. They contend that their deportation to Bulgaria would constitute a violation of their rights under articles 7 and 24 of the ICCPR, as it would expose them and their children to homelessness, destitution, lack of food and access to health care, and risk to personal safety (owing to a fear of being targeted by the traffickers who smuggled them from Turkey to Bulgaria).


The Committee found the communication partly admissible on the following grounds: (i) there were no available domestic remedies which would suspend the authors’ deportation (as the appeal filed did not have a suspensive effect); and (ii) while the authors failed to substantiate their claim under article 24(1) for the purposes of admissibility, they (iii) had sufficiently substantiated their concerns of a violation of 7 of the Covenant.


The Committee held that the authors’ deportation to Bulgaria would not violate article 7 of the ICCPR, because the authors failed to provide sufficient evidence to substantiate the claim that they would face a real and personal risk of inhuman or degrading treatment if returned to Bulgaria. It found that the possibility that the authors might face difficulties in Bulgaria did not in itself mean that they would be in a special situation of vulnerability. Further, the Committee noted that the authors failed to show that the State party’s decision was manifestly erroneous, clearly arbitrary, or amounted to a denial of justice.

Separate Opinions

Three Committee members (Santos, Tigroudja, and Muhumuza) were unable to concur with the Committee’s view, instead finding that the authors faced a credible risk of irreparable harm if returned, based on cumulative risk factors including: (i) the expiry of their Bulgarian residence permits, (ii) their ineligibility to reside in reception centres, (iii) the lack of effective refugee integration programs in place in Bulgaria, (iv) potential exposure to hate speech, discrimination, and racially motivated violence, and (v) the potential of further threats and harassment by the traffickers.


January 22, 2022

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