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Abstract

In an era where immigration and asylum is at the forefront of many western nationals’ minds, so too should be the reasons behind an individual’s intent to seek refuge in a new country. Statistics have shown that one of the pragmatic reasons women and girls, particularly from Middle Eastern and African nations, seek refuge through western asylum programs is to escape or recover from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). While the practice has been a longstanding tradition in various communities around the world, modern western governments and international entities have moved to abolish the tradition completely, given its alarming implications against human rights.

In order to reconcile the stark differences between what many regard as a traditional practice and others now consider a human rights violation, there must be a comprehensive understanding of the history and evolution of FGM, its significance to female asylum seekers, and its implications for the future of western immigration processes.

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