NRCDV Logo
  • Adult Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
  • Runaway & Homeless Youth Toolkit
  • Prevent Intimate Partner Violence
  • Violence Against Women Resource Library
  • Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Project
  • Building Comprehensive Solutions
  • National Resource Center on Domestic 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.