Unaccompanied minors can apply for asylum in the country they are present

MA & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EUECJ C-648/11

The second paragraph of Article 6 of Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 must be interpreted as meaning that where an unaccompanied minor with no member of his family legally present in the territory of a Member State has lodged asylum applications in more than one Member State, the Member State in which that minor is present after having lodged an asylum application there is to be designated the ‘Member State responsible

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The Dublin Regulation may be waived when asylum seekers suffer degrading treatments and are not granted proper examination of their request

ECtHR - M.S.S. v Belgium and Greece [GC], Application No. 30696/09 21/01/2011

An Afghan asylum seeker who fled from Kabul in 2008, entered the European Union through Greece and travelled on to Belgium where heapplied for asylum. Greece was held to be the responsible Member State for the examination of his asylum application, according to the Dublin Regulation rules (link). Therefore the Belgian authorities transferred him back to Greece in June 2009 where he faced detention in terrible conditions before living on the streets without any support. WHilst in Greece, he suffered the violation of Article 2 (the right to life), Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment) and/or Article 13 (the right to an effective remedy).


The Court concluded that there is a violation of Article 13 of the Convention in conjunction with Article 3 on the ground that the deficiencies in the Greek authorities examination of the applicant’s asylum request and the risk he faces of being returned to his country of origin without any serious examination of the merits of his asylum application and without having access to an effective remedy.