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Countries Archives: Belgium

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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Decision n° 166/2013 of 19 December 2013, Constitutional Court (Belgium)

Decision of the Constitutional Court on the action for annulment brought by a coalition of associations on the legality of article 74/9 of the law of 15 December 1980. The Court confirmed the legality of this article and clarified its scope, finding that the detention did not violate the child’s fundamental rights, including the right to family life and to protection from all forms of inhuman or degrading treatment.

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Decision n° 251.051 of 24 June 2021, Council of State (Belgium)

Final decision of the Council of State on the action for suspension and annulment brought by a coalition of associations after the publication of the Royal Decree of 22 July 2018 establishing the modalities of detention of families in migration. The Council of State decides to maintain the provision that allows the deprivation of liberty of families for a maximum period of 4 weeks and declares itself not competent to pronounce on the concrete measures for the functioning of the family homes.

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