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Image source, Are You SyriousImage caption, Madina Hussiny, pictured when her family was in the Serbian capital Belgrade

Six-year-old Madina Hussiny was hit by a train in the dark after her Afghan family were ordered to return across the border by Croatian police.

The accident happened in November 2017, a year after they left Afghanistan as part of the wave of migration towards the European Union.

The European Court of Human Rights has now ruled that Madina's rights were violated.

Some of the family had also suffered collective expulsion, it found.

The Hussiny family had travelled to Serbia overland via Pakistan, Iran and Turkey before trying to cross into Croatia.

After Madina's death their case was taken up by rights group Are You Syrious?, who told the BBC the family had asked them to fight for justice for their daughter and to ensure such a case did not happen again.

"No verdict or monetary compensation can bring little Madina back to life, or be a real comfort to her family, but we feel some satisfaction in the fact that we managed to keep the promise we made to them four years ago," the group said.

The six-year-old's death highlighted a practice known as "push-backs". Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Croatia are among EU countries accused this year of sending back asylum-seekers before they are given the legal right to claim asylum. They deny doing anything wrong.

Collective expulsion is also against the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Strasbourg court found that, in the case of five children and their mother, Croatia had violated their rights on this issue. It also found the investigation into Madina's death had been ineffective,

The interior ministry in Zagreb was unavailable for comment on Thursday, a solemn public holiday in Croatia. However, authorities have denied returning the family to the border. They have the right to challenge the ruling.

Eventually the family did cross in Croatia in 2018 and applied for international protection before eventually moving on to Slovenia.

STORY AT SEA: Migrants accuse Greece of pushing them back

Thursday's ruling coincides with the story of another Afghan family who told the BBC that Croatian officials had pushed them back into Bosnia 39 times.

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.Media caption, The family of asylum-seekers trapped on Europe’s edge