The communication concerned M.K.A.H., a stateless child, and whether Switzerland violated his rights under Articles 2 (2), 6, 7, 16, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 37 and 39 UNCRC when it decided to return him and his mother to Bulgaria, pursuant to the agreement between Switzerland and Bulgaria relating to the readmission of migrants in irregular situations, where they had previously obtained subsidiary protection.
Some of the findings of the Committee were that (i) Switzerland had not respected the best interests of the child nor heard him at the time of hearing the asylum request; (ii) the child ran a real risk of being subject to inhuman and degrading treatment in case of a return to Bulgaria; (iii) Switzerland had not sought to take the necessary measures to verify whether the child would be able to acquire a nationality in Bulgaria. The Committee also found that Article 7 UNCRC implicates that States must take the necessary positive actions to implement the right to acquire a nationality.
Applicants requested to be recognised as stateless in addition to having already been recognised as refugees. The judgments deals with the question of whether refugee status is comparable in rights to the status of nationals within the meaning of the exclusion clause in Article 1(2) of the 1954 Convention. The Court sides with the applicants confirming their right to be recognised as stateless persons in addition to having been granted asylum-based residence status.
The family applied for statelessness determination, claiming to be stateless since they were not able to receive identity documents from any state, despite trying for years, and were not recognised by any state. The authorities rejected the application for statelessness determination with the argument that they did not fulfil their duty to cooperate. The lack of any form of documentation is interpreted as a sign for the lack of credibility and willingness to cooperate rather than a possible indication of statelessness. The Federal Administrative Court upheld the decision arguing that the applicants had not demonstrated that they had undertaken the necessary steps to receive identity documents. The situation of the children is not examined separately. Arguments relating to the best interests of the child are not discussed.