BELGIUM: Genitally-Mutilated African Girls Risk Deportation From Belgium

Belgian authorities will expel African girls who, after getting political refugee status for declaring that they were threatened with genital mutilation in their countries of origin, afterward, voluntarily returned to their countries to get excised, an official source told PANA here.

The Belgian police have undertaken investigations on over 20 suspected women from sub-Saharian Africa, who risk losing their rights of residence.

By order of the government, the police will demand these women to produce, at regular intervals, medical certificates showing that they have not undergone any genital mutilations, after being accepted as political refugees in Belgium.

Belgian law protects, at the political level, all women threatened with genital mutilation in their countries of origin.

Many human rights organisations are carrying out actions to fight against female genital mutilation in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

Female genital mutilation practice is strictly forbidden in Belgium, be it medical or assisted in a hospital institution or by a surgeon, or at home by a woman from Africa practicing female genital mutilation.

The law imposes severe prison sentences on doctors and matrons who practice female genital mutilation on minor girls or women of age.

SOURCE: Afrique en Ligne

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DATE: 11/05/2009

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