The Migration Court of Appeal of Sweden delivered a ruling in case MIG 2018:20, where it found that the suspension of the right to family reunification for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection violated Sweden’s human rights obligations.

Under the temporary law applicable from June 2016 to June 2019, Sweden has excludedpersons granted subsidiary protection from family reunification. The suspension does not apply to refugee status holders.

The parents and sibling of an eight-year-old subsidiary protection holder from Syria, supported by the Swedish Refugee Advice Centre, argued before the Migration Court of Appeal that the rejection of their application for reunification with their son breached the right to family unity under Article 8 ECHR and Articles 3, 9 and 10 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as the prohibition of discrimination under Article 14 ECHR in conjunction with Article 8.

The Migration Court of Appeal held that refusing the person granted subsidiary protection in this case the right to family reunification was not a proportionate interference with the right to family life, when balancing the family’s interest and the country’s interest in reducing the number of arrivals of refugees. The Court stressed that further delays in family reunification would be contrary with the best interests of the child.

According to the Swedish Migration Agency, the ruling is likely to affect many cases and should be closely analysed. The Agency had raised concerns about the compatibility of the suspension of family reunification with the right to family unity ahead of the adoption of the temporary law.

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AIDA: This information was first published by AIDA.*

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.