Kaba v. Canada

The applicant was severely beaten by her husband when she intervened to prevent the clitoral excision, also known as female genital mutilation or cutting, of her six-year-old daughter. Both mother and daughter fled Guinea and arrived in Canada where the applicant claimed refugee status for herself and her daughter on the grounds of membership of a particular social group as single women and victims of domestic violence, and in view of the serious risk of her daughter’s excision. The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) refused to grant refugee status for lack of credibility. The applicant then applied for an exemption to the permanent resident visa requirement on the basis of humanitarian and compassionate considerations, as well as a pre-removal risk assessment. The IRB rejected both applications and ordered her removal from Canada. The applicant included supporting documents in each application, including reports confirming the risk of excision in Guinea and a letter from her uncle in Guinea that attested to her husband’s threats to harm the applicant if he ever saw her again, or kill her if she did not return his daughter to him. The applicant's husband had subsequently obtained a court order forcing the applicant's brother and mother to do everything possible on pain of severe penalties to return his daughter to him in Guinea. The affidavits for the order show that the applicant's daughter faced certain excision and forced marriage upon her return to Guinea. In her complaint to the Committee, the applicant cited violations of several articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, including article 7's prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment. The Committee held that there was no question that subjecting a woman to genital mutilation amounted to treatment prohibited under article 7 of the Covenant, and although the applicant's daughter was 15 the time the Committee addressed the communication, the context and particular circumstances of her case demonstrated a real risk of genital mutilation upon her forced return to Guinea.



Avon Center work product