On 1 December 2022, the Administrative Court of Braunschweig ruled in a case (278/22). It concerned an Iranian family, whose asylum application was to be transferred to Italy under the Dublin III Regulation. However, the family appealed this transfer decision on grounds that the transfer to Italy could not be carried out considering the systemic deficiencies in the country, particularly in the reception conditions, and asked for the suspension of the measure.

The German Administrative Court found that the conditions to transfer an asylum applicant to the responsible state were not met in this case since there are substantial reasons to assume that the asylum procedure and the reception conditions for asylum applicants in Italy have systemic deficiencies that would pose a risk of inhuman or degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 4 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Charter) and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). It was considered that in Italy the applicants would be homeless both during the time between their return and the formal application for asylum and after the conclusion of their asylum procedure, even if they are granted international protection. The ruling also acknowledged that the Italian housing system is not adapted to the needs of beneficiaries of international protection and the special protection owed to children. The Court found that the reception conditions for minor children, even if accompanied, have to be adapted to their age and vulnerability.

As many asylum applicants and beneficiaries of protection are homeless or live in informal settlements due to a lack of capacity of the official reception system, the applicant family would face a high risk of homelessness which, as highlighted by the court, constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment even if temporary. Following these considerations, the Court concluded that the single mother and her minor sons would not be guaranteed the most basic services in the event of a Dublin transfer to Italy. Consequently, the applicants face a considerable risk of homelessness and thus a violation of Article 4 of the Charter and Article 3 of ECHR. Finally, the Court indicated that assurances by the Italian authorities that a child- and family-friendly accommodation would be guaranteed in the event of a transfer and adequate medical assistance could eliminate these risks.

Based on an unofficial translation from within the EWLU team.