FGM Debated as Basis for Asylum in US Courts
Monday, May 5, 2008 1:31 PM

Last week, federal judges of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments about whether FGM is a basis for asylum. Women from Guinea, one of whom fears that her daughters might undergo FGM if returned to Guinea, are looking to the court to overturn the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of asylum. The judges did not seem persuaded by the government’s argument that since the FGM already occurred, the women would not suffer further persecution. About ninety-five percent of Guinean women have undergone FGM.

Since February, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has launched a campaign to end FGM, which affects two to three million women each year. In August 2007, UNFPA partnered with the UN Children’s Fund to decrease FGM by forty percent by 2015 through a $44 million program. 

Compiled from: NY Judges Challenge Government on Appeal in Asylum Case,” Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press via Silive, 29 April 2008 and “UN Agency Marks International Day with Call for Ending Female Genital Mutilation,” Press Release, The United Nations Population Fund, 6 February 2008.