Failed asylum seeker's daughter 'at FGM risk', High Court hears

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Image caption,
A hearing was held at the Family Division of the High Court in London

A failed asylum seeker is facing removal from the UK despite a family judge ruling her nine-year-old daughter would be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) if she goes.

The High Court heard the woman, who has links to Bahrain and Sudan, has been refused asylum by the Home Office.

She fears if she leaves for Bahrain she will be trafficked to Sudan and her daughter will be put at risk.

The case, brought by Suffolk County Council, is the first of its kind.

Mr Justice Roderick Newton oversaw a preliminary private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Suffolk County Council is the local authority involved in the case.

Protection order

Barrister James Holmes, who is leading council's team, said a family court judge concluded the girl would be at risk if her mother left for the Middle East.

The girl was made subject of an FGM protection order, he said.

But Home Office officials rejected the woman's asylum application and ordered her removal, the court heard.

She had challenged that removal decision but immigration tribunals, and a judge, rejected her appeals.

Barrister Claire van Overdijk, who is representing the Home Secretary Sajid Javid, told the judge the woman would be allowed to stay in the UK for the next few weeks.

A judge is expected to stage a trial in the near future and hear arguments from lawyers representing social services, the woman, the girl and Mr Javid.

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