Brussels First Instance Tribunal, G. v. Kingdom of Belgium, 19 December 2018
This case concerns a mother suing the Belgian state to enable the children she had with an Islamic State fighter during her stay in Syria, to travel to Belgium. The mother, who is detained in Turkey, used to have the Belgian nationality but currently only holds the Algerian nationality. The children were born in Syria but are living in Turkey and are de facto stateless.
According to the Court, the children had a sufficient connection with neither Syria, Turkey, nor Algeria. By contrast, there was a factual connection with Belgium. Furthermore, while it could be argued that, pursuant to the Convention of 1954 Concerning the Status of Stateless Persons, the claim to obtain travel documents should be directed to the Turkish government, this could not be expected to happen in practice.
Furthermore the Court ruled that, even if there was no specific legal ground obliging the Belgian State to provide the requested travel documents, the State nonetheless had an enforceable legal obligation to act, in light a range of commitments made, such as the general principle of aid and assistance to one’s own nationals, articles 50 and 75 of the Belgian Consular Code, the Convention of 1954 Relating the Status of Stateless Persons, the Convention on the Right of the Child, and article 8 of the ECHR. The Court accordingly ruled the claim to be well-founded and granted the requested provisional measures.