Advance unedited version CRC/C/77/D/3/2016

on female genital mutilation in Somalia (2015)5, according to which female genital mutilation
was prohibited by law throughout Somalia and it was possible for mothers to prevent their
daughters from being subjected to female genital mutilation against the mother’s will, in
particular in the Puntland State of Somalia.
2.4
Since the RAB decision cannot be appealed to the Danish judicial system, the author
notes that domestic remedies have been exhausted. The author adds that, since her daughter
had not yet been born when the DIS handed down its decision, the issue of a risk of FMG
was only assessed by one body, namely the RAB.
The complaint
3.1
The author claims that her daughter’s rights under articles 1, 2, 3 and 19 of the
Convention will be violated if she is returned to Somalia, as she may be subjected to female
genital mutilation.6 She claims that the principle of non refoulement is applicable to the
Convention, which has extraterritorial effects in certain cases such as the issue of female
genital mutilation. The author notes that the Human Rights Committee, the Committee
against Torture and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women have
already determined that the respective treaties had extraterritorial effects with regard to
deportation cases.7
3.2
The author claims that, as a single mother, she will not be able to withstand social
pressure and protect her daughter against female genital mutilation in a country where 98%
of women have been submitted this practice. The author notes that the RAB based its decision
on the DIS report on female genital mutilation in Somalia (2015), according to which it is
possible for girls not to be circumcised if the mother opposes to it (see para. 2.3). However,
the author claims that the same report indicates that, if the mother is not strong enough to
stand against the other women’s will, then she may succumb to pressure, and that family
members may perform the practice when the mother is not at home. The author adds that,
although female genital mutilation is prohibited by law in Somaliland and in the Puntland
State of Somalia, this legislation is not enforced in practice. She adds that she herself was
submitted to female genital mutilation at age 6 and that she has suffered oppression in her
country of origin due to her secret marriage and has not been able to seek protection from the
authorities in a male dominated society. Finally, in the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) Position on Returns to Southern and Central Somalia (June 2014),
UNHCR urged States to refrain from forcibly returning any persons to Southern and Central
Somalia.

5

6

7

Thematic paper: South central Somalia: female genital mutilation/cutting, Country of Origin
Information for Use in the Asylum Determination Process, published by the DIS in January 2016
(available at https://www.nyidanmark.dk/NR/rdonlyres/D011EB99-7FB6-4693-921A8F912F4079CB/0/female genital mutilationnotat2016.pdf) According to this report (page 8), “It is
possible for women to avoid having their daughters subjected to the practice of female genital
mutilation and some women manage to do so. This, however, would highly depend on the personality
of the mother and on whether or not she has the necessary commitment to stand firm against female
genital mutilation and the strong psychological pressure it entails, both from family members and
society alike.” It also notes that “a strong personal conviction that her daughter should not undergo
the practice is most important for a mother to succeed, with her educational background, social status,
cultural or geographical affiliation also being of considerable, yet minor importance.”.
The author does not specify what type of female genital mutilation her daughter would allegedly be
submitted to.
The author cites the decision by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
on communication No. 33/2011, M.N.N. v Denmark, of 15 July 2013.
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Select target paragraph3