Danish government left information out of UN response over FGM asylum case

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish government left information out of UN response over FGM asylum case
An unrelated file photo showing a refugee camp in Somalia. Photo: AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh/Ritzau Scanpix

In a response to the UN, the government failed to include information regarding its practice in asylum cases involving female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia.


Although the country’s refugee agency Flygtningenævnet, which is part of the Ministry of Immigration and Integration, wished to submit the information, a section relating to FGM was removed, making the response less controversial, according to a report by newspaper Information.

The decision to remove such information was taken by the ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Justice’s section for state and human rights (Stats- og Menneskeretskontor), according to the report.

Information reports that public documents to which it has gained access show correspondence between the refugee agency and justice ministry confirming the decision.

Denmark was in January criticised by the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child (OHCHR) for refusing asylum to a Somali woman and her infant daughter who risked FGM if they were returned to the northeast African country.

The criticism was not anchored to that specific case, however. OHCHR stated that Denmark was obliged by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to not repeat the practice in similar cases.

In its mandatory response to the UN remarks, the justice ministry removed information about its general practice, Information writes.

The official Danish response also failed to explain why the refugee agency will not review the individual case, why it will not change practice in future and why it does not agree with the OHCHR criticism, legal experts told Information.

The Ministry of Justice did not wish to comment on the issue.

In a written comment, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration told Information that the final submitted response to the UN summarised “which steps the specific case had required the (refugee) agency to take”.

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