Fears that nine-year-old could face female genital mutilation if sent abroad
PUBLISHED: 22:20 30 December 2018 | UPDATED: 22:20 30 December 2018
A failed asylum seeker is awaiting a senior judge’s decision on whether she should be expelled from Britain even though her daughter could face female genital mutilation if sent abroad.
The nine-year-old, whose welfare is the responsibility of Suffolk County Council, could face female genital mutilation (FGM) if she and her mother are expelled from Britain, according to a family court judge.
However, the pair await the verdict of a senior judge to decide their future in a case that is being looked at by Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
Barrister James Holmes, who led the legal team representing Suffolk County Council’s social services bosses, who have welfare responsibility for the girl, had told Mr Justice Newton that the case was the first of its kind.
A senior judge is scheduled to analyse evidence at a High Court trial in London at the end of January.
Detail of the case emerged recently following a preliminary hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
The hearing was overseen by Mr Justice Newton in October.
The judge said the case raised public interest issues relating to “tensions” between politicians and the courts.
He said the trial judge might give guidance on how such issues should be resolved if they arose again.
According to Mr Holmes, the woman has links to Bahrain and Sudan.
She fears that if she leaves Britain for Bahrain, she will end up being trafficked to Sudan, where her daughter would be subjected to FGM.
Mr Holmes said a family court judge had concluded that the girl would be at risk and made her the subject of an FGM protection order.
But Home Office officials rejected the woman’s asylum application and ordered her removal.
She challenged that removal decision but immigration tribunals, and a judge, rejected her appeals.
The decision to expel her from Britain will now be decided by the senior judge in January.