Cessation and review of protection status

France

Country Report: Cessation and review of protection status Last updated: 18/03/21

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In 2019, OFPRA ended protection of 263 persons (compared to 414 in 2018), affecting 235 persons with a refugee status and 28 persons with a subsidiary protection. Statistics on the year 2020 were not available at the time of writing of this report.

Grounds for cessation

Regarding refugees, the law reflects the cessation grounds set out in Article 1C of the Refugee Convention.[1]

Regarding beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, the law includes provisions inspired by the Refugee Convention. The benefit of subsidiary protection ceases when the conditions leading to grant the protection no longer exist. It is also the case when there is a significant and durable change of context in the country of origin of the beneficiary.[2]

In 2019, 176 cessations of protection for refugees were due to the application of article 1-C of the Geneva Convention (end of fears of persecutions) mainly for people from Russia, DRC, Sri Lanka and Turkey.[3] Information on the number of cessations in 2020 was not available at the time of writing (March 2021).

There is no systematic review of protection status in France. Cessation is not applied to specific groups. There are no systematic difficulties in relation to the application of cessation either. In practice, people who were granted asylum on the grounds of family unity may, following divorce, no longer be considered as refugees. In relation to children, however, the CNDA held in 2018 that, in line with the principle of family unity, a child benefitting from the same refugee status as his mother could not be subject to cessation by the mere fact of reaching the age of 18, as long as the mother maintained refugee status.[4] Family unity is not applied to subsidiary protection beneficiaries.

In practice, cessation is mostly applied when there is a fundamental change of context in the country of origin of beneficiaries. For instance, the CNDA applied cessation in 2016 to a Vietnamese who was granted refugee status in 1977 because of the fundamental changes which occurred in the country since that date.[5] In 2018, it refused to apply cessation to refugees from DRC and Sri Lanka due to the fact that the change of circumstances was not of a significant and durable nature.[6]

In a case concerning two girls at risk of FGM in Mali, the CNDA refused to apply cessation despite statements from the girls’ mother that the prevalence of FGM was dropping in the country of origin. The Court relied on the best interests of the child principle enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the protection against FGM set out in Article L.752-3 Ceseda, to conclude that there was no change of circumstances.[7]

As regards cessation grounds due to the individual conduct of the beneficiary pursuant to Article 1C of the Refugee Convention, the CNDA has delivered several relevant judgments in recent years:

  • Re-establishment in the country of origin: Cessation under Article 1C(4) of the Convention was applicable in the case of a beneficiary who travelled to the country of origin despite warnings that his or her Travel Document does not allow travel to that country, and who obtained authorisation to travel from the country’s consular authorities in France;[8]
  • Re-availment of protection of the country of origin: In the case of a refugee who was issued a driver’s licence in the country of origin without physically returning to the country – as the procedure was handled by his wife – the issuance of an official document could not constitute re-availment of the protection of the country of origin pursuant to Article 1C(1) of the Convention.[9]

Cessation procedure

The cessation decision can be made without any interview by OFPRA. OFPRA has however the obligation to address a notice to the refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection about the decision to initiate the cessation proceedings and the grounds of this decision. The beneficiary is therefore put in a position to formulate observations against this decision. He or she may summoned to an interview at OFPRA upon the regular procedure scheme.

The cessation decision made by OFPRA can be challenged before the CNDA under the same conditions as an appeal lodged under the Regular Procedure: Appeal. In such a case, the CNDA shall examine the applicability of all cessation clauses and not limit itself to the specific cessation ground raised by OFPRA, according to a 2017 ruling of the Council of State.[10] This was confirmed by the CNDA in 2018.[11]

 

[1]           Article L.711-4 Ceseda.

[2]           Article L.712-3 Ceseda.

[3]           OFPRA, 2019 Activity report, 63.

[4]           CNDA,a M. O., Decision No 17013391, 31 December 2018.

[5]           CNDA, M. D., Decision No 14018479, 25 February 2016.

[6]           CNDA, M. K., Decision No 18001386, 17 October 2018 (DRC); M. L., Decision No 17047809, 25 May 2018 (Sri Lanka).

[7]           CNDA, Mme S and Mme F., Decision Nos 17038232 and 17039171, 26 November 2018.

[8]           CNDA, M. Q., Decision No 16032301, 6 July 2017.

[9]           CNDA, M. H., Decision No 16029914, 14 September 2018.

[10]          Council of State, Decision No 404756, 28 December 2017.

[11]          CNDA, M. M., Decision No 15003496, 28 November 2018.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation