The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has declared inadmissible the application of an NGO on behalf of an asylum seeker who was deported prior to identification as a victim of human trafficking.

G.J first applied for asylum in Spain in 2006 on the grounds of religious persecution, which was denied. In 2010, she applied again on the basis that she fled Nigeria following the assassination of her parents. The young woman, however, claimed that she paid a trafficker in coming to Spain and upon arrival was forced into prostitution. The UNHCR supported the young woman’s claim for asylum, believing her to be a potential victim of human trafficking. She was also supported by Proyecto Esperanza, an NGO specialising in the investigation of trafficking.

In March 2010, the Spanish authorities denied G.J.’s second request for asylum. She began separate proceedings for the suspension of her expulsion order until such time as her identification as a victim of human trafficking was complete. On 11 March 2010, G.J. also signed a written authority allowing NGO, Women’s Links Worldwide (WLW), to apply on her behalf for a “recovery and reflection period” under section 59 of Organic Law 4/2000. The suspension request was not granted and on 17 March 2010, G.J. was expelled from Spain.

Later that month, WLW initiated administrative judicial proceedings claiming that the young woman had been deported before Spanish authorities had properly considered her request. However, the judge ruled that WLW only had the woman’s authorisation to apply for the reflection period, and lacked the legal standing to act for G.J. in other judicial matters. Thus, the Spanish court ruled the application of WLW inadmissible …

This is a publication of the PILA bulletin dated 14 September 2016

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