Female genital mutilation case at CRC

The applicant entered Denmark in 2014 with her husband, coming from the Puntland State of Somalia, and applied for asylum.

In 2015, when the applicant was 6 months pregnant, her application for asylum was rejected by the Danish Immigration Service. The author appealed this decision to the Danish Refugee Appeals Board, on the basis that her daughter would be subjected to female genital mutilation if returned. However, the appeal was rejected, as the Board found that the applicant lacked credibility, and relied on a report by the Immigration Service from 2015, stating it is possible for mothers to prevent their daughters from being subject to female genital mutilation in Somalia.

A complaint was then sent to the Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2016. The Committee finds that the State party failed to take proper safeguards to ensure the child’s wellbeing upon return, based on three general views. Firstly, the Board limited its assessment to a report on central and southern Somalia, and not the relevant Puntland State of Somalia. Secondly, the Committee sees the applicants departure as an inability to resist pressure, and she would therefore not be able to protect the daughter. Finally, due to the irreversibly harmful nature of female genital mutilation, the principle of precaution should be followed. Therefore, the Committee found that there was a violation of the convention, and the State is under an obligation to refrain from deporting the applicant and her daughter.

25. January 2024

CRC 3/2016
  • Decision: 28. January 2018
  • Comm: Child