Asylum for Gender-Based Forms of Persecution, February 2016

At another Asylum Office hearing in February 2016, Tracy Bempong ’16 and Harrison Smith ’17 won asylum for a woman from Gambia, who was twice subjected to FGM, once at age 14 and then again when she was about to enter into an arranged marriage.  In June 2015, Kate Peccerillo ’16 won grants of asylum for two teenage girls from a country in West Africa who were sent by their parents (who, like the girls, were opposed to FGM) to visit their paternal grandparents in Connecticut in order to protect them from repeated and increasingly insistent attempts by a relative to abduct them for forcible FGM.  All of these cases required sensitive interviewing of the clients, close collaboration with medical, mental health and country conditions experts, and legal briefs that navigated complex developments in the case law.