Despite recommendations from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, that all states halt forcible returns to central and southern Iraq and Eritrea, 285 Iraqis were forcibly returned to the former and several Eritreans to the latter.
Asylum-seekers who wished to challenge their transfer to another EU member state under the Dublin II Regulation were not entitled to a suspensive in-country appeal (which would suspend their transfer pending the outcome of the appeal). Those detained while awaiting transfer were denied the right to an appointed legal representative, including in respect of challenges to their detention pending transfer.
In June, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern over the authorities' failure to sufficiently consider the best interests of children seeking asylum, and the large number of unaccompanied children disappearing from reception centres. In November, the government announced it would form a commission to review the system for dealing with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and their housing needs.
Violence against women and girls
The HRC expressed concern about the high prevalence of violence against women, the lack of shelters for women in some municipalities and the continuing occurrence of female genital mutilation (within migrant communities).
The HRC noted the increase of reported racially motivated crimes. The CRC expressed concern at discrimination against and xenophobic and racist attitudes towards children of ethnic minorities, refugee and asylum-seeking children and children belonging to migrant families.