Friday 24 November 2017

Judge quashes ruling to deport six-year-old girl

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A judge yesterday quashed a decision to return a six-year-old girl to Nigeria because of the risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) was so great.

Mr Justice Gerard Hogan said the girl's age and tribal membership meant she was in a "very high risk group".

He moved to quash the decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal to deport her to Nigeria and said the mother's application on behalf of her daughter should be reconsidered.

The girl was born in Ireland of Nigerian parents and a previous application by her mother for asylum was refused.

The mother said she was raised as a Christian but her husband came from a strong Muslim background.

Her father-in-law, she said, had threatened to kidnap her and subject the young girl to genital mutilation.

Her own application for asylum was refused in September 2010 because she was out of time for the purposes of the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000.

Mr Justice Hogan said the issue was the "gravity of the threat that this young girl might be subjected to FGM if she were to be returned to Nigeria".

He stressed that even if the mother's claims were "entirely discounted as implausible, the stark and uncomfortable fact remains" the girl was from a tribe where FGM was practised.

Irish Independent

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