APPEAL No. AA (Vulnerable Female – Article 3) Ethiopia CG  UKIAT 00184
Date of hearing: 20 May 2004
Date Determination notified: 8 July 2004
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||APPELLANT|
"35. I bear in mind the findings in the psychiatric report that although the appellant is not suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, there are various aspects of her mental health which make her vulnerable. She suffers from excessive anxiety, difficulty to control the worry, relentless [sic], difficulty in concentrating and disturb sleep. The doctor has put it down to abuse by the appellant's stepmother during childhood as well as abuse by the family for whom she worked as a domestic servant. The doctor has stated that there is a high probability of developing a major depressive episode as well as for the deterioration of her present psychological symptoms. Given that background, coupled with the fact that the respondent has not challenged the appellant's age, and the fact that the initial statement she gave to the solicitors was not an asylum application but a request for exceptional leave to remain, I am not surprised that some important aspects of her story were left out of her first statement and that she found herself confused in the asylum interview about what she had stated in the first statement at the age of 16. She was interviewed in 2003, when she was nearly 21.
36. I have taken the appellant's second statement into account in which she explains the credibility points raised by the respondent. On the totality of the evidence before me, I find that the credibility points raised by the respondent have been answered adequately and that any outstanding aspects of the issues raised are purely peripheral and do not go to the core of the appellant's claim. I am prepared to accept the appellant's account about her family's circumstances. I find that the appellant did go to Saudi Arabia as claimed from where she was brought to the United Kingdom by her employers. I am prepared to accept her account that she has no family left in Ethiopia, certainly not any members of the family with whom she has any contact. I am also prepared to accept her account that she worked as a domestic servant and that she was brought to the United Kingdom as such as well as her account that she was abused by the families that she worked for.
37. The issue before me to decide is whether or not the appellant's protected rights mentioned in Article 3 are engaged. I bear in mind the very high threshold if Article 3 is to be engaged. I also bear in mind that the appellant is a lone young woman who will be returning to Ethiopia where she has no family or friends and she has been out of the country since 1996 when she was of the tender age of 14. Given the fact that she has suffered abuse at the hands of the two families for whom she worked as a domestic servant, and taking into account her mental health as explained in the psychiatric report, I find that the appellant would not remember much about life in Ethiopia and would, for all intents and purposes, be going to an almost unfamiliar territory.
38. The background material shows that women are still at risk of ill-treatment in Ethiopia. I quote selectively from CIPU (paragraphs 6.109-6.114) where it is stated that the traditional practice of abduction as a form of marriage is illegal but is still believed to be practised widely in many rural areas. Women are often abused physically during abduction and forced sexual relationships accompany many marriages. It is estimated that there are more than 1000 rapes a year in Addis Ababa however there were only 68 rape convictions nationwide in the year ending September 2000. It is estimated that an average of about 84 rape cases per day in Addis Ababa are never reported or brought to court due to social and cultural problems.
39. When considering the appellant's case in light of the objective material, I bear in mind that she has no family in Ethiopia. She hardly knows anything about the country, having left at the tender age of 14. Her mental health is vulnerable. She will be returning to Ethiopia as a lone young woman. She will have no network of support and would not know who to turn to if she had problems. Taking all the evidence into account cumulatively, I have no hesitation in reaching the conclusion that the appellant would clearly be at risk of treatment contrary to Article 3 if she is returned to Ethiopia. As a lone young woman without support network, she will be at risk of abduction, rape and other forms of abuse. I find that there is a real risk of the appellant's Article 3 protected rights being breached if she is returned to Ethiopia."