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Migration and Home Affairs



  • A concept
  • - which recognises that persecution can be enacted against members of a section of the population (a ‘group’) that is suffering oppression or is threatened as a whole in its home country according to one of the criteria defined in the Geneva Refugee Convention and Protocol to an extent that the members of such a group are not only covertly or potentially at risk, but quite tangibly and imminently requiring thus a certain intensity of persecution to warrant the general assumption of the individual persecution of each group member, irrespective of whether an individual has indeed been the victim of such persecution.
  • - and which in any case, whilst a group may be persecuted, requires that an application for international protection must be examined on an individual basis in the EU Member States, and not all together as one group.
  • Definition according to the consistent practice of the German Federal Administrative Court based on ruling of 15 May 1990 – 9 C 17.89


    • BG: групово преследване
    • CS: pronásledování skupiny
    • DE: Gruppenverfolgung
    • EL: ομαδική δίωξη
    • EN: group persecution
    • ES: no translation
    • ET: grupi tagakiusamine
    • FI: ryhmään kohdistuva vaino
    • FR: persécution à l’encontre d’un groupe
    • GA: géarleanúint grúpa
    • HR: proganjanje određene društvene skupine
    • HU: csoportos üldöztetés
    • IT: persecuzione di gruppo
    • LT: persekiojamoji grupė
    • LV: grupas vajāšana
    • MT: Persekuzzjoni ta’ grupp(-i) ta’ nies
    • NL: groepsvervolging
    • PL: grupowe prześladowanie
    • PT: grupo alvo de perseguição
    • RO: persecuţie de grup
    • SK: prenasledovanie skupiny
    • SL: skupinsko preganjanje
    • SV: förföljelse av en grupp
    • NO: forfølgelse av en gruppes medlemmer (b); forfølging av medlemmene av ei gruppe (n)
    • KA: ჯგუფის დევნა 
    • UK: групове переслідування
    • HY: խմբային հալածանք

    Broader Term(s)

    Related Term(s)


    1. An assumption of group persecution requires a certain intensity of persecution to warrant the general assumption of the individual persecution of each group member, irrespective of whether an individual has indeed been the victim of such persecution. This requires a threat emanating from so large a number of violations of rights protected by asylum law that it goes beyond separate individual infringements or a large number of individual infringements, but rather constitutes acts of persecution in the specific territory aimed at the group as a whole which increase, are repeated and spread to such an extent that there is not only a possibility, but a direct imminent danger of becoming a victim oneself for any member of such a group.
    2. With consideration to the general principle of subsidiarity in refugee law, group persecution will only entitle a refugee to protection abroad, if the danger is present in the entire territory of the country of origin, i.e. if there is no internal alternative for protection. For the purposes of the danger of persecution after return, such an internal flight alternative must be reasonable and accessible from the country of refuge.
    3. For more information on group persecution, see the European Database of Asylum Law (EDAL) , i.e. German Federal Administrative Court, ruling of 12 April 2009 – 10 C 11.08.