Individual complaints

An individual complaint mechanism allows individuals, groups and in some cases NGOs to seek enforcement of their rights. Various individual complaint mechanisms exist for the enforcement of rights guaranteed under international law. Individual complaints can be brought before certain regional courts, such as the European Court of Human Rights, when all domestic remedies have been exhausted.


“Seehofer Deal” denies access to asylum procedures and effective remedy


Germany and Greece concluded the so-called Seehofer Deal in 2018. The administrative agreement named after German Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer says: migrants and refugees who have already applied for asylum in Greece and arrive to Germany via Austria should be refused entry and returned to Greece within 48 hours. This is what happened to Syrian asylum seeker HT.


Push-Backs in Croatia: Complaint before the UN Human Rights Committee


A 21-year-old Syrian refugee crossed the Bosnian-Croatian border. He and other refugees were pushed back by armed Croatian police officials. The Syrian, supported by ECCHR submitted a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee urging it to examine Croatia’s practice of expulsions.


Bulgaria’s pushback practice condemned by ECtHR


Bulgaria’s systematic expulsion of refugees and migrants to Turkey without an examination of the individual risk of ill-treatment violates the European Convention on Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in July 2021.


The KiK/Pakistan case in Germany – 3D simulation as architectural analysis

Activism & Arts

The 18 minute video from Forensic Architecture details the lack of stairs, emergency exits, fire extinguishers and fire alarms in the factory. Inadequate fire safety measures at the company, a supplier for the German clothes retailer KiK, led to the agonizing deaths of 258 factory workers in the blaze.


Croatia to answer to European Court of Human Rights


Croatia is obliged to account for its push-back practice to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) before the European Court of Human Rights. The court accepted the individual complaints brought by three Syrian refugees. The applicants were denied any individual assessment as they were summarily and collectively expelled in October 2018 at the border between Croatia and BiH.


From Idomeni to Strasbourg: Refugees demand their right to have rights at the ECtHR


With support from ECCHR, several refugees filed individual complaints against Macedonia in 2016. They assert that Macedonia’s practice of unlawful expulsions is violating the European Convention on Human Rights.


Philippines: Sexual slavery during Second World War

Sexual and gender-based violence

On behalf of 28 survivors of sexual slavery during Second World War in the Philippines, ECCHR and CenterLaw submitted a communication to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. They call for the acknowledgement of the crimes and reparations.


UN committee condemns Spain’s push-back policy


Spanish authorities apprehend and summarily deport unaccompanied minors to Morocco without a procedure to identify them and protect their rights. This policy was strongly condemned by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in February 2019 in a decision that clearly upholds the fundamental rights of unaccompanied minors at Europe's borders.


ND and NT v. Spain


ND and NT crossed the border fence structure in Melilla and entered Spain in August 2014. The Spanish Guardia Civil apprehended them, along with approximately 70 other individuals from sub-Saharan Africa who also had climbed the fences. They were immediately “pushed back” to Morocco – without access to any legal procedures or protection.


UN Committee against Torture refuses to examine Belgium’s role in torture of former Guantánamo detainee


Belgium failed to investigate and prevent torture in US detention camp Guantánamo. Former detainee and Belgian citizen Zemmouri together with ECCHR argues that Belgian officials were complicit in the abuse.