Author: May Bulman
A failed asylum seeker is facing removal from the UK even though a judge has ruled her nine-year-old daughter could be subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) if taken abroad.
In a preliminary private hearing in the High Court on Wednesday, Suffolk Country Council, the local authority responsible for the child’s welfare, asked the judge to consider the case.
The girl’s mother, who has links to Bahrain and Sudan, fears that if she leaves Britain for Bahrain, she will end up being be trafficked to Sudan, where the girl would be subjected to FGM.
The judge said the case, which is said to be the first of its kind, raised public interest issues relating to “tensions” between politicians and the courts and could be reported by journalists.
Mr Justice Newton said the trial judge might give guidance on how such issues should be resolved if they arose again.
Barrister James Holmes, who is leading Suffolk Council’s legal team, 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 had rejected the woman’s asylum application and ordered her removal.
The Home Office’s lawyer told the judge that the woman would be allowed to stay in the UK for the next few weeks.