Belgium: Judgment on return to Afghanistan for two aged-out unaccompanied minors 

On 11 April, the Belgian Court Council of Alien Law Litigation (CALL) ruled in the asylum appeal case (219682) of two brothers, who are aged-out unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan.

In the assessment of their respective applications for asylum, the Commissioner General rejected the applications on the grounds of credibility. In particular, it was found that the applicants failed to sufficiently prove they were from Baghlan Province in Afghanistan and that the Taliban sought to recruit them. The Commissioner General highlighted that the siblings were unable to recall key events in their home region or sufficiently describe the location of towns and villages. It was thus found that the applications for asylum failed to establish the existence of a well-founded fear of persecution or a real risk of suffering serious harm.

In examining the appeal, the CALL reviewed the documentation submitted by the applicants, including additional documents submitted in the appeal application. With reference to case law from the Council of State, the CALL disagreed with the Commissioner General and stated that the existence of a high degree of corruption in Afghanistan is not a sufficient enough reason to automatically conclude that the documents are fraudulent (c/e No 103.421 of 8 February 2002). The CALL found that the applicants' region of origin as being Baghlan to be sufficiently established in the evidence provided by the applicants and, recognizing their young age and lack of education, it found that they had sufficiently answered all questions addressed to them.

The Court further acknowledged the critical security and humanitarian situation in Baghlan as well as the significant presence of the Taliban in several areas in the province. Thus, with a view to this situation as well as to the vulnerability of the applicants given their young age, the CALL ruled that the applicants would not have access to effective and durable protection if returned to Afghanistan. The CALL found that the applicants' had a well-established fear of being persecuted for their political opinion and should be recognized as refugees. 

Based on an unofficial translation by the ELENA Weekly Legal Update of 10 May 2019

Decision in French

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