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Belgium rapped for leaving asylum-seeker on streets despite European court order

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) criticized Belgium for not providing assistance to an asylum-seeker despite legal orders to do so.

The case concerned Abdoulaye Camara, an asylum-seeker from Guinea, who had been left without accommodations in Belgium in July-November last year, "despite the decision by which the Brussels French-Language Employment Tribunal had ordered the Belgian State to grant him material assistance and provide him with accommodation," said a statement on Tuesday.

Camara arrived in Belgium last year on July 12, and applied for international protection three days later.

But, the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum-Seekers (Fedasil) did not assign Camara to a reception facility and he had to live on the streets until November 2022.

"The Court could not fail to be aware that the circumstances of the present case were not isolated incidents and that they revealed a systemic failure on the part of the Belgian authorities to enforce final judicial decisions concerning the reception of applicants for international protection," the ECHR noted.

While admitting that Belgium was facing difficulties due to rising migration, the court criticized "the time taken by the Belgian authorities in the present case to enforce a court order aimed at protecting human dignity."

This does not show a mere delay but a "clear refusal to comply with the orders," according to the court.


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