Interim Measure Granted by the European Court of Human Rights: the Belgian Reception Crisis

Interim Measure Granted by the European Court of Human Rights: the Belgian Reception Crisis
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo from Unsplash


Beatrice Serra

International Justice and Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

As Belgian reception centers are facing an overcapacity crisis, many asylum seekers, including numerous minors, have found themselves sleeping in the street following their application of international protection. Since last October, more than 5000 asylum seekers have been denied accommodation in Belgium. Yet, the government’s effort to keep up with the demands and increase the number of accommodations available seem to be delayed. According to Michel Genet, Director of Doctors of the World Belgium “The asylum chaos is becoming unbearable. Seven unaccompanied minors slept in cardboard tents last night. The government is not taking the measure of the crisis, civil organisations cannot do more." (Walker, 2022; EIM,2022)


In the midst of the crisis, the European Court of Human Rights granted several interim measures in October, related to more than 140 individuals, to demand the government of Belgium to comply with national court orders to provide accommodation for asylum seekers. The last interim measures, issued on October 31, 2022, concerns Abdoulaye Camara, an asylum-seeker of Guinean nationality that was repeatedly denied the right to shelter despite numerous attempts exhorting the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum-Seekers (Fedasil) to intervene. Cold temperatures, hunger, and the need of medical assistance especially in light of the scabies epidemic spreading among asylum-seekers living on the street have been major concerns highlighted in the application filed to the Court. More specifically, the complaint was reversed on several violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, namely Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 6 (right to a fair hearing) in relation to the failure of enforcing national court orders and the lack of an effective remedy. As a result, on October 31, 2022, the Court decided to “enjoin the Belgian State to comply with the order made by the Brussels French-language Labour Court on 22 July 2022 and to provide the applicant with accommodation and material assistance to meet his basic needs”. (Camara v. Belgium, 2022)

Sources and Further Readings: 

Electronic Immigration Network (November 17, 2022), European Court of Human Rights grants interim measures as authorities in Belgium leave hundreds of asylum seekers homeless and sleeping on the street, EIN, retrieved on November 24, 2022, from

European Court of Human Rights, The Court applies an interim measure concerning an asylum-seeker without accommodation since his arrival in Belgium, Camara v. Belgium (application no. 49255/22), Press Release issued by the Registrar of the Court, retrieved on November 24, 2022, from{%22itemid%22:[%22003-7477467-10255069%22]}. 

  1. Walker (October 19, 2022), Belgian reception crisis: Families with children now also sleeping rough, The Brussels Times, retrieved on November 24, 2022, from