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Country of Decision : Switzerland
Court Name : CH: Federal Administrative Court [Bundesverwaltungsgericht - Tribunal administratif fédéral - FAC]
Date of decision : 02/07/2020
Type : Judgment
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol : Case E-3021/2020

A. (Ethiopia) v Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)


CH: The Federal Administrative Court rules on procedural guarantees for alleged unaccompanied minors

The applicant is an Ethiopian national who requested asylum in Switzerland in August 2016 and claimed to be an unaccompanied minor without identity documents. An age assessment took place (a radiological examination of his left hand) in which it was determined that he was 18 years old. The applicant was thus treated as an adult during the asylum procedure. His application was rejected. 

The applicant challenged the decision and produced an Ethiopian identity card as proof of the fact that he was a minor. The applicant claimed that he should have been provided the procedural guarantees for unaccompanied minors, such as the designation of a trusted person to represent his interests and being heard as a minor. 

The Federal Administrative Court held that when dealing with an alleged minor, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) must adopt appropriate measures to ensure the protection of the individual’s rights. This includes designating a trusted person to represent the interests of the alleged minor. In addition, when identity documents are not produced, the SEM is obliged to carry out an overall assessment of elements in favour of or against the applicant’s alleged minority. Thus, the Federal Administrative Court annulled the decision and remitted the case for a re-examination.

Age assesment ; Assessment of Application; Minor; Unaccompanied minors; Vulnerable Group;

National law only (in case there is no reference to EU law/ECHR);


Switzerland, Federal Administrative Court [Bundesverwaltungsgericht - Tribunal administratif fédéral - FAC], A. (Ethiopia) v Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Case E-3021/2020, 02 July 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.