Reasonableness to settle

Guidance note
Last updated: September 2020

According to Article 8 QD, IPA can only apply if the applicant ‘can reasonably be expected to settle’ in the proposed area of internal protection.

In applying the reasonableness test, it should be examined whether the basic needs of the applicant would be satisfied, such as food, shelter and hygiene. Additionally, due consideration has to be given to the opportunity for the person to ensure his or her own and his or her family’s subsistence and to the availability of basic healthcare.

General situation

The following elements should be examined based on available country of origin information:

 the situation with regard to food security;
 the availability of basic infrastructure and services, such as:
■ shelter and housing;
■ basic healthcare;
■ hygiene, including water and sanitation;
 the availability of basic subsistence that ensures access to food, hygiene and shelter, such as through employment, existing financial means, support by a network or humanitarian aid.

The general situation in the area in consideration should be examined in light of the criteria described above, and not in comparison with standards in Europe or other areas in the country of origin.

The general circumstances prevailing in Damascus assessed in relation to the factors above entail significant hardship. However, they do not preclude the reasonableness to settle in the city as such. The person’s ability to navigate the above circumstances will mostly depend on access to financial means and in exceptional cases, the reasonableness requirement may be satisfied. The assessment should take into account the individual circumstances of the applicant.

 

 

Individual circumstances

In addition to the general situation in the area of potential IPA, the assessment whether it is reasonable for the applicant to settle in that part of the country should take into account the individual circumstances of the applicant, such as:

civil documentation
gender
age
support network
professional and educational background and financial means
 ethnoreligious and linguistic background
state of health
etc.

The individual considerations could relate to certain vulnerabilities of the applicant as well as to available coping mechanisms, which would have an impact when determining to what extent it would be reasonable for the applicant to settle in a particular area. It should be noted that these factors are not absolute and they would often intersect in the case of the particular applicant, leading to different conclusions on the reasonableness of IPA.

 

 

Conclusions on reasonableness

The general conclusions on the reasonableness of IPA for particular profiles of applicants are based on an assessment of the general situation in Damascus City and the individual circumstances of such applicants, as outlined in the sections above.

For those applicants who meet the ‘safety’ and ‘travel and admittance’ requirements under Article 8(1) QD, the availability of IPA in Damascus City will depend on the assessment of the reasonableness to settle there.
Based on the general situation in the capital city, and taking into account the applicable individual circumstances, internal protection in Damascus City may be a reasonable alternative only in exceptional cases, in particular for some adult applicants who have educational and professional background facilitating their access to employment, or a support network who is able to assist them in accessing basic subsistence, or those who otherwise have sufficient financial means. In this regard, the rapidly evolving economic situation and food insecurity, as well as the impact of covid-19 on those and on the healthcare system in Damascus, should also be considered.

 

 


 

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