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Migration and Home Affairs


Violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict which presents a serious and individual threat to a civilian's life.


Art. 15 of Directive 2011/95/EU (Recast Qualification Directive)


  • BG: безразборно насилие
  • CS: svévolné násilí
  • DE: willkürliche Gewalt
  • EL: αδιακρίτως ασκούμενη βία
  • EN: indiscriminate violence
  • ES: violencia indiscriminada
  • ET: juhuslik vägivald
  • FI: mielivaltainen väkivalta
  • FR: violence aveugle
  • GA: foréigean neamh-idirdhealaitheach
  • HU: megkülönböztetés nélküli erőszak
  • IT: Violenza indiscriminata
  • LT: nesirenkamasis smurtas (EU acquis); beatodairiškas smurtas
  • LV: izplatīta vardarbība
  • MT: vjolenza indiskriminata
  • NL: willekeurig geweld
  • PL: przemoc na masową skalę
  • PT: violência indiscriminada
  • SK: všeobecné násilie / nediskriminačné násilie
  • SL: vsesplošno nasilje
  • SV: urskillningslöst våld
  • NO: vilkårlig vold (b); vilkårleg vald (n)

Broader Term(s)


1. The term is relevant for the purposes of determining the risk of serious harm in the context of qualification for subsidiary protection status under Art. 15(c) of Directive 2011/95/EU (Recast Qualification Directive). Indiscriminate violence refers to the source of the specific type of serious harm identified in Art. 15(c).
2. In its judgment in Elgafaji, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has held that the term ‘indiscriminate’ implies that the violence ‘may extend to people irrespective of their personal circumstances’. The Court highlighted the ‘exceptional situation’ needed for Art. 15(c) to apply to civilians generally. It made clear that, for this to be the case: ‘ the degree of indiscriminate violence characterising the armed conflict taking place… such a high level that substantial grounds are shown for believing that a civilian, returned to the relevant country or, as the case may be, to the relevant region, would, solely on account of his presence on the territory of that country or region, face a real risk of being subject to the serious threat referred in Art. 15(c) of the Directive.’ (see CJEU C-465/07 Elgafaji vs the Netherlands)
3. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) understands the term ‘indiscriminate’ to encompass ‘acts of violence not targeted at a specific object or individual, as well as acts of violence which are targeted at a specific object or individual but the effects of which may harm others’. (See UNHCR’s study: ‘Safe at Last? Law and Practice in Selected EU Member States with respect to asylum seekers fleeing indiscriminate violence’)