08 June 2016 Current Affairs: European Court of Justice has ruled that non-EU (European Union) migrants who illegally entered an EU member state should not face detention on 7 June 2016. In its direction it said, under the Europe's 2008 Return Directive, the migrants staying illegally should be returned back to the country from which they came from.
It said that the ruling applies to migrants crossing borders within the Schengen passport-free zone and on leaving the zone.
The ruling came into effect in the case of a Ghanaian woman migrant, Selina Affum. On 22 March 2013, she was found using false Belgian travel documents by French police at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel. At that time, she was on a bus from Ghent, Belgium to London, United Kingdom.
Later, the French police placed her in police custody on grounds of illegal entry into French territory.
Affum argued that her detention was illegal, in light of the EU's Return Directive.
Affum’s case was referred to the European Court of Justice, the EU's highest court, by the French court of Cassation.
2008 Return Directive : Under the policy, the migrant is asked to voluntarily leave the Union within 30 days. After which, the removal should not involve excessive force or place the person’s life in danger. Its calls on authorities to take into consideration the best interests of children, family life, and the state of health of the third-country national concerned of the illegal migrants. It prevents a national of a non-EU country who has not yet been subject to the return procedure being imprisoned solely because he or she has entered the territory of a Member State illegally across an internal border of the Schengen area. This was also the case when the migrant is intercepted when leaving the Schengen area.