Keywords: women; asylum; return; genital mutilation; FGM; European Court of Human Rights.
Figures issued by UNICEF show FGM is practised in more than 20 African countries and that every year, about three million girls and women are subjected to genital mutilation or cutting. This practice violates girls’ and women’s basic human rights. Furthermore, protection against FGM has become a reason for seeking asylum. UNHCR has recognized that a woman’s or girl’s fear of being subjected to FGM constitutes one of the grounds for recognition refugee status. This contribution focuses on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation as related to the right on asylum and analyses the risk of undergoing FGM if they are repatriated to their origin countries in the light of ECtHR case-law. As examination of the most relevant cases will show, the Court has underlined in its decisions that subjecting a woman to FGM amount to ill-treatment contrary to article 3 of the ECHR. However, The Court until today has not qualified any application as admissible for asylum on grounds of FGM.