On the 31st August 2023, the Court delivered its judgment in the case no. 70583/17. The case concerned a Ghanaian woman who arrived as a minor to Italy in October 2016 and was accommodated in an adult reception centre. In September 2017, the Court applied Rule 39, subsequent to the applicant’s request to be transferred to a facility with appropriate reception conditions for an unaccompanied minor. In December 2017, the applicant was granted international protection on the basis of the forced marriage and abuse she had suffered in her country of origin.

The Court firstly considered the Article 3 ECHR arguments and emphasised that authorities must carry out particular vigilance when dealing with vulnerable people and afford them increased protection. The Court found relevant that soon after her arrival in the centre the applicant had disclosed her history of sexual abuse and had reiterated these claims to a psychologist and mediator. Furthermore, the police headquarters were aware of this history due to the applicant’s asylum request and the Court therefore deduced that the authorities were aware that the applicant was particularly vulnerable. The Court also noted that the applicant’s representative requested four times to the Prefecture, the police headquarters and the Red Cross for the applicant to be transferred to a suitable centre and her situation did not change until after the interim measure, thus leaving her without the accommodation and assistance that her vulnerable situation required. The ECtHR therefore held that the applicant’s treatment attained the minimum level of severity to fall within the scope of Article 3, and that her continued stay in the concerned centre alongside the authorities’ prolonged inaction regarding her situation and needs as a particularly vulnerable minor amounted to a violation of Article 3 ECHR.