In re Kasinga

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The Matter of Kasinga was a legal case decided in June 1996 involving Fauziya Kassindja (surname also spelled as Kasinga), a Togolese teenager seeking asylum in the United States in order to escape a tribal practice of female genital mutilation.[1] The Board of Immigration Appeals granted her asylum in June 1996 after an earlier judge denied her claims. The case set a precedent in United States immigration law as applicants could now seek asylum in the United States from gender-based persecution, whereas previously religious or political grounds were often used to grant asylum.

Layli Miller-Muro, the student attorney who represented Kassindja before the immigration judge, subsequently founded the Tahirih Justice Center to provide legal aid and medical referrals to immigrant women escaping from gender-based violence and persecution. Karen Musalo, who spearheaded the litigation leading to the Board's positive decision in the case, founded the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS), a national organization based at the University of California's Hastings College of the Law, which works to protect and advance the rights of women, children, and LGBTI refugees that seek protection in the United States. Kassindja (aka Kasinga) is a member of the CGRS Advisory Board.[2]

See also[edit]

  • Aminata Diop, a Malian woman who fled to France in 1989 to avoid FGM


  1. ^ Dugger, Celia W. "Asylum from Mutilation". The New York Times. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
  2. ^

External links[edit]