X (Georgia) v Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (Commissaire général aux réfugiés et aux apatrides, CGRS)
BE: The CALL held that the risks arising from the COVID-19 pandemic do not justify a need for international protection as such risks are not due to an actor of persecution
The applicant applied for asylum alledging she was the victim of harassement and domestic violence. This claim was rejected by the CGRS. She then further appealed claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic substantialy changed her situation.
The court noted that the applicant did not bring any further evidence to substantiate her need of protection due to harassement and domestic violence, but she brought up a generic argumentation about the pandemic, without showing how this would change concretely her situation regarding her need for international protection. The court underlined that the risks arising from the pandemic are not caused by one of the actors of persecution, as foreseen under Belgian legislation and the recast Qualification Directive, Article 6. The court observed that the fact that there are travel restrictions to Georgia and only Georgian nationals can enter the country does not prove that the applicant would be subject to torture or inhuman or degreading treatment (as defined under ECHR, Article 3) and it also does not suggest that the pandemic situation is more serious in Georgia than in Belgium.
Actors of protection; COVID-19/Emergency measures; First Instance determination;
The Council for Alien Law Litigation Official Website
Belgium, Council for Alien Law Litigation [Conseil du Contentieux des Étrangers - CALL], X (Georgia) v Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (Commissaire général aux réfugiés et aux apatrides, CGRS), no. 236 159, 28 May 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.