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Countries Archives: Belgium

Kanagaratnam v. Belgium, Application No. 15297/09, Judgment of 13 December 2011

This decision concerns the detention of four Sri Lankan asylum seekers of Tamil origin, a woman and her three children (aged 13, 11 and 8 respectively at the time of the events), for almost four months in a closed transit centre, with a view to their deportation after the Belgian authorities refused them entry and while their return was pending. The court found a violation of Article 3 (for the three children) and Article 5 § 1 (for all applicants).

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Muskhadzhiyeva and Others v. Belgium, Application No. 41442/07, Judgment of 19 January 2010

This case concerns the detention of a mother and her four children (aged 7 months, three and a half years, five and seven years at the time of the events) for more than a month in a closed transit centre whose infrastructure was unsuitable for the reception of children. The Court found that this constitutes a violation of Article 3 for all the applicants and a violation of Article 5 para. 1 in respect of the four child applicants, while no violation of Article 5 para. 4 was found for any of the applicants.


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Communications No. 55/2018 E.B on behalf of E.H. et al. v. Belgium, 24 March 2022

The CRC Committee found that the children’s detention in closed family detention centres violated the prohibition on ill-treatment (art. 37 CRC), read alone and in conjunction with the best-interests principle (art. 3 CRC). Belgium’s failure to consider alternatives to detention, including the option of allowing the families to remain in their own homes while they pursued appeals and other judicial remedies, was an element of the finding that Belgium had not taken the children’s best interests as a primary consideration.

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