Will the Home Office send a three-year-old girl abroad to face genital mutilation?

Hannah Bardell, the SNP MP who raised the issue of female genital mutilation in Prime Minister’s Questions.

This appears to be more evidence of ‘caring’ Conservatism’s double standards: Huge efforts to stop female genital mutilation in the UK, but no problem with deporting a child to be cut in another country.

The issue has been raised in Parliament by SNP MP Hannah Bardell, who asked Theresa May to intervene on behalf of her constituent Lola Ilesanmi, who is facing deportation to Nigeria where her three-year-old daughter is at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Sian Norris explained, on the politics.co.uk website:

Ilesanmi claims to have experienced severe domestic abuse by her estranged husband, who she believes cancelled her visa to stay and work in the UK.

Although FGM is banned in Nigeria, the country has the highest number of genitally mutilated women in the world.

Female genital mutilation has been illegal in the UK for over 30 years, and since 2003 it has been a criminal offence to take a girl out of the country for the purposes of undergoing FGM. With the long holidays approaching, schools and healthcare professionals are encouraged to be alert as to where girls are travelling over the summer and to take out a protection order if they believe a girl is at risk.

So how can it be that the Home Office can deport a family, knowing that on arrival in Nigeria a three year old girl is at risk of being cut? If it is illegal for a family to take their daughter to be cut, how can it be legal or moral for the Home Office to deport a child knowing she may undergo FGM?

Ilesanmi’s case reveals a real hypocrisy at the heart of the government’s attitudes when it comes to immigration policy versus gender-based violence.

When it is illegal for her husband to take their daughter abroad for the procedure, it cannot be right for the Home Office to send Ilesanmu’s daughter into a situation where she is at risk of it happening.

So what’s going on, Tories?

Are you saying “Not in my back yard (because UK voters will hate us for it)” and “Out of sight, out of mind” – at the same time?

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3 thoughts on “Will the Home Office send a three-year-old girl abroad to face genital mutilation?

  1. Barry Davies

    Well the Home office decision will have been made by a civil servant, and is highly unlikely to have had any political input before Hannah Bardell was approached, as it seems the family is being deported there is clearly other aspects which have been taken into consideration, which are not being reported here.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The decision would be made by a civil servant, acting on laws and regulations imposed by the Conservative government.

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