On the 14th of September 2023, the ECtHR delivered its judgment Diakitè v. Italy, no. 44646/17. The case concerned an Ivorian minor who declared upon his arrival in Italy that he was a minor and submitted a birth certificate. The applicant was however transferred to an adult’s reception centre as a medical report stated that his bone age was compatible with that of a person aged at least eighteen. Approximately 5 months later, the applicant was transferred to a minor centre after he underwent a medical visit showing that his age was between seventeen and eighteen years old and so a guardian was appointed. In the meantime, the applicant applied for asylum which was later granted.
The ECtHR observed that the applicant was firstly placed in an adult centre based on an X-ray evaluation but was transferred to a centre for minors immediately after his representative requested. Nonetheless, the Court noted that the applicant submitted to the authorities a birth certificate showing his minor age at his arrival and that he did not benefit from the minimum procedural guarantees. The ECtHR highlighted that the principle of presumption of minor age is an inherent element of the protection of the right to respect private life of an unaccompanied foreign national declaring to be a minor. Hence, the Court concluded that Italy did not act with reasonable diligence and therefore did not comply with their positive obligation to ensure the applicant’s right to respect his private life and violated Article 8 ECHR.