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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Asylum Law and Female Genital Mutilation: Recent Developments

General Material
Published Date
February, 2008

The federal courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) have classified female genital mutilation (FGM) as a form of persecution, which can be used as the basis for a successful asylum claim. However, recent developments in this area of law have created a split between the federal courts and the BIA over the treatment of applicants who have already endured FGM. Federal courts that have addressed FGM acknowledge past infliction of FGM as a basis for fear of persecution, while the BIA rejects this position. This article summarizes the legal controversy surrounding FGM and asylum.