Migration Board sets new principle in Congo ruling

The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) has established a new guiding principle in an asylum case involving a woman from DR Congo. The Board approved the woman's application for permanent residency despite lacking the normal grounds required for protection.

The woman is from the province of North Kivu in eastern DR Congo. Since fighting broke out in August some 220,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. The area has been classified as an internal conflict, a definition that does not apply to the remainder of the country.

The board ruled in the case that the woman lacks the possibility to create a secure life for herself in another part of the country.

“With the situation that exists in DR Congo today it is not reasonable to expect that a single woman without a social network is able to survive alone as an internal refugee,” said the board’s Mikael Ribbenvik to Sveriges Television (SVT).

The board’s ruling could be applied to other cases involving violent internal conflicts.

“This means that we will make the same decision in regard to other countries where a similar situation exists, ” said Mikael Ribbenvik and named Afghanistan and Iraq as examples.