Marriage for settlement of a clan conflict case

Concerning Ms. W.O.J vs Denmark for violation of Article 7 of CCPR.

The author fled Somalia due to fear of her former husband, a powerful 70-year-old local clansman, to whom she was forcibly wed at age 17. The marriage was agreed upon by two rival clans as part of the settlement of a clan conflict. The author was subjected to continuous and serious acts of violence, rape, and harassment by her husband.

After fleeing Somalia and her former husband, the author discovered that she was pregnant. She entered Libya and was held for four months in a detention centre, where she gave birth to her daughter. She fled to Italy where she had another child. She travelled to Denmark and applied for asylum on 25 June 2012. The Danish Immigration Service determined that she should be transferred to Italy, as Italy was her first country of asylum. On 6 February 2014, the Refugee Appeals Board upheld that decision.

A complaint was sent to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The Committee noted that  the State party’s conclusion did not adequately take into account the detailed information provided by the author that, despite being granted a residence permit in Italy, on two occasions she was faced with indigence and extreme precarity. Thus the Committee concluded that deporting the author would be a breach of Article 7 of the convention. The State party is under an obligation to provide Ms. W.O.J with an effective remedy, including full reconsideration of her claim.

24. March 2020

CCPR 2360/2014
  • Decision: 25. September 2015
  • Comm: Human Rights