Daughter in risk of female genital mutilation

Concerning R.H.M. and her minor daughter Y.A.M. vs. Denmark for violation of articles 3 and 19 of CRC.

The mother is from Somalia and the applicant, the daughter, is born in Denmark in 2016. The daughter is in risk of being deported to Somalia, where she would allegedly risk being forcefully subjected to female genital mutilation.

The applicant’s mother has, as an asylum motive on behalf of the applicant, referred to the fact that she, on a return to Somalia, fears that the applicant will be forcibly circumcised, forcibly removed and forcibly married because she and the applicant’s father was not allowed to marry. The Refugee Board has disregarded the applicant’s mother’s explanation of her background and conflict. The Refugee Board thus does not find that it can be assumed that the applicant will be exposed to the circumstances alleged by the applicant’s mother. Particularly with regard to the fear of forced circumcision, the Refugee Board notes that both the applicant’s mother and father are against circumcision and it must be assumed that they will be able to oppose any possible pressure from the environment for this.

Although female genital mutilation is prohibited by law in Somalia, it is still almost universally practiced. In Somalia is 98% of all woman subjected to female genital mutilation. The Refugee Appeals Board based its decision on a Danish Immigration Service report on this subject from 2016, according to which it is possible for girls not to be circumcised.

In a statement dated 4 February 2021, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has criticized the Board’s decision regarding the deportation of a female Somali citizen and her minor daughter, born in Denmark, to Somalia. They found both article 3 and 19 to be violated.

The Refugee Board decided after the criticism to resume processing of the cases. On 7 June 2021, the Refugee Board has again made a decision in the cases and the Refugee Board granted the family a residence permit pursuant to section 7 (1) of the Aliens Act.

16. October 2023

CRC 83/2019
  • Decision: 4 February 2021
  • Comm: Child