France: new case law on female genital mutilation

Friday, October 4, 2013

The French Conseil d'État adjudicated in December 2012 on three cases concerning female genital mutilation (FGM) and overruled the jurisprudence of the Cour nationale du droit d'asile. The Conseil d'État has decided that girls born in France threatened with FGM can constitute, under certain circumstances, a social group in the sense of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and can therefore be granted asylum. However, the Conseil d'État has also established that girls will need to prove the geographic, sociological and family-related elements which constitute a risk for them personally. Moreover, if in the country of their nationality there is an area where they can reasonably establish themselves without running risks, asylum may not be granted. Finally, the parents of the girls will not be granted any form of international protection unless they harbour fears of serious, personal and direct persecution.

See the decision of the Conseil d'État here.

The French Revue des Droits de l'Homme has published an article analysing the new case law which is accessible here.

The Weekly Legal Update would like to thank Gilles Piquois, the French ELENA coordinator, for sharing this information. 

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the weekly ELENA legal update supported by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Funding Programme and distributed by email. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is published but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE, the IRC or its partners.



Internal protection
Female genital mutilation
Individual threat
Membership of a particular social group
Persecution (acts of)
United Kingdom