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*Law of Aliens

Published on December 28th, 2017 | by Georgia Archonti

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Finland – Supreme Administrative Court – being in contact with the family is not in itself a proof that a child will be taken care of upon return

On 10 November 2017, the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland ruled in case KHO:2017:172 regarding the return order and two-year entry ban issued to a Moroccan unaccompanied minor after the rejection of his asylum application.

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that Article 10(2) of the Returns Directive requires Member States to ensure that a minor will be returned to a member of his or her family, a nominated guardian or adequate reception facilities in the country of return. However, the fact that the minor is in regular contact with the member of the family cannot, in itself, be regarded as evidence that he will have adequate reception at home. In the case in question, the child’s mother had informed the Finnish child welfare authorities that she was ill and homeless, thus not being able to care for his son.

The minor in the case had been taken into care by the child welfare authority. The Court stated that the fact that a child had been taken into care was not an absolute obstacle for a decision of deportation. However, the Court recalled that according to the Finnish Child Welfare Act, the social welfare institution has the right to decide on the child’s whereabouts, education and general care and concluded that the applicant cannot be deported before the child’s welfare measures have terminated.

Therefore, the Supreme Administrative Court annulled the decisions of return order and entry ban of the Finnish Immigration Service and of the lower Administrative Court and referred the case back to the Immigration Service for reconsideration.

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