On the 30th of January 2023, the Human Rights Committee (CCPR) published its communication no. 2926/2017. The case concerned two Afghan nationals and their minor son who were detained at the Police Immigration Detention Centre at Trandum for 76 consecutive days prior to their second removal to Afghanistan. The applicants claimed that the Centre was badly equipped to accommodate families with small children and so they appealed against their detention, however, the Supreme Court upheld the decision on the grounds that there was a risk of absconding and no alternatives were available and referred the case back to the first-instance Court. This Court took subsequent decisions ordering their detention and the applicants did not appeal these decisions.
Regarding the admissibility, The CCPR noted that the doubts expressed by the first-instance Court concerning the proportionality of the continued detention are consistent with the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence that courts must assess petitions for continued detention more stringently as time progresses. Therefore, the Committee ruled that the Supreme Court’s judgment did not eliminate any prospect of success of future appeals as the first-instance Court still had to make factual assessments and therefore the applicants had not exhausted all available remedies. The CCPR however considered that the applicants exhausted all remedies regarding their detention prior to the Supreme Court ruling and held the communication admissible in this regard.
The Committee then assessed the applicants’ claim that Norway breached their son’s rights under Article 24 of the Covenant. The Committee specifically considered the nature and conditions of the Trandum Centre and its unsuitability for children, and highlighted that a reasonable assessment of all the circumstances would have militated against the detention of the child for such an extended period. The Committee therefore ruled that, by detaining the authors’ son in such conditions and by failing to adequately consider possible alternatives, Norway did not duly take the son’s best interests into account as a primary consideration and hence violated his rights under the Covenant.