I recently represented a five-year-old girl from Afghanistan, born in Austria, whose mother had died and for whom custody had been transferred to the child and youth welfare agency. The Federal Administrative Court subsequently granted the girl the status of beneficiary of subsidiary protection, while it dismissed my client’s application for the status of beneficiary of asylum essentially on the grounds that it could not recognize any persecution relevant to asylum, for example due to internalization of a “Western” way of life, also because of her young age. Although the court said that it could not ignore the well-founded fears that the situation in Afghanistan could deteriorate significantly since the Taliban came to power, the court could not yet foresee further developments. There was also no indication for the court that all Afghan women were equally exposed to asylum-relevant persecution merely because of their gender.

My appeal against this decision to the Constitutional Court was successful: