The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against a Swiss decision to expel a Nigerian citizen who had two convictions for drug trafficking in Austria and Germany, saying that expulsion would violate his right to private and family life.
The man first came to Switzerland in 2001 under a false identity, having been convicted of a drug-trafficking offence in Austria. His application for asylum was rejected.
He married a Swiss national in 2003 and is the father of twin girls born the same year.
His second conviction came in 2006 in Germany. He returned to Switzerland in 2008 and has been under an expulsion order since 2009.
He has meanwhile divorced his first wife and had a third child with a second Swiss national whom he wants to marry.
"The forced removal of the applicant is likely to lead to the two girls grow up separated from their father," the Court stated. It considers it in the "best interests of the two girls that they can live with both parents."
It said the Swiss decision violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.”
The decision was not unanimous: two of the seven judges believed that Switzerland had followed the Human Rights Convention sufficiently because the drug convictions weighed against the applicant. They said national authorities had to be able to show firmness in combatting the “scourge” of drug trafficking.
The court ordered Switzerland to pay the man €9,000 (CHF11,000) for costs and expenses.
The ruling comes as Switzerland continues to debate the implementation of a popular vote in 2010 for the expulsion of criminal foreigners. The rightwing People’s Party, which launched the initiative, has now collected enough signatures to force a second vote to back up the first.
HOST AN EVENT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Helping victims of human trafficking is as simple as talking to a friend. Host an event and invite the community to discuss the exploitation of human beings. At this campaign, we are eager to spread the word and we'd like to talk at any community event about human trafficking and victim identification.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Trafficking in Persons Report 2016 -- Complete Report (PDF)
-Introductory Material (PDF)
-Country Narratives: A-C (PDF)
-Country Narratives: D-I (PDF)
-Country Narratives: J-M (PDF)
-Country Narratives: N-S (PDF)
-Country Narratives: T-Z and Special Case (PDF)
-Relevant International Conventions/Closing Material (PDF)
These are some of the things you can do to help fight human trafficking:
Be informed! Educate yourself about human trafficking by reading about it. Follow events in the news. Keep your eyes open - human trafficking is happening all around us.
Raise awareness! Talk to friends, family and colleagues. You could even start talking to your local politicians and authorities.
Get involved! Participate in an anti-trafficking movement in your area and get involved in its activities and campaigns (e.g. hold events, distribute posters, leaflets etc.) in your neighborhood and in schools.
Encourage businesses! Be a responsible consumer! Inform yourself on the labour policies of companies to ensure their products are free from slave labour and other forms of exploitation. If possible, buy fair trade products.
Seek support! If you suspect that someone has been trafficked report it to the institutions or assistance facilities dealing with human trafficking in your area.
"It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name -- modern slavery."
– President Barack OBAMA