Female Genital Mutilation

Home Department written question – answered on 20th March 2014.

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Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne East

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the risk of female genital mutilation is assessed under immigration rules for applicants for asylum in the UK.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

An individual who claims that she would, on return to her home country, suffer female genital mutilation may qualify for refugee status if she is able to demonstrate that her fear of return is well-founded. Factors that are taken into account when assessing the risk include evidence that female genital mutilation is knowingly tolerated by the authorities or that the authorities are unable or unwilling to offer effective protection. The UK does not seek to remove individuals who face a real risk of persecution on return.

Asylum decision-makers consider claims for international protection carefully and sensitively and ensure that all evidence relating to an individual's claim is taken into account. Each claim is considered on its own merits in the light of country of origin information and guidance. Specific guidance and training on gender-specific issues, including the risk of female genital mutilation, is provided to decision-makers.

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