The A38 Blog Articles and Interactive Lectures on the Go

Search This Blog

Powered by Blogger.
                                                                                                                                 Lori Furstenberg

When the climate is tampered with our renewable rain and snowfall are no longer sustained accordingly. Rain and snowfall provide fresh water for 7.3 billion global family members (Retrieved from

An estimated 880 million people don't have regular access to clean water. Roughly 2.7 billion people are without adequate sanitation. How are we planning to lower both numbers as the planet's population rises by an expected three billion over the next 50 to 75 years?

About 5,000 children die each day due to preventable diarrheal diseases such as cholera and dysentery, which spread when people use contaminated water for drinking or cooking. A lack of water for personal hygiene leads to the spread of totally preventable ailments like trachoma, which has blinded some six million people.

Water woes also trap many low-income families in a cycle of poverty and poor education—and the poorest suffer most from lack of access to water. Competition can be fierce for this precious commodity. Watersheds and aquifers don't respect political borders and nations don't always work together to share common resources—so water can be a frequent source of international conflict as well.

Day-by-day demand keeps growing, further draining water sources, from great rivers to underground aquifers. Today such water is as finite as petroleum. Other aquifers are renewable. But many of them are used faster than precipitation is recharging them, as is the case underneath the breadbasket of India, underneath the wheat and cornfields on the plains of north China, under California's Central Valley. The intersection of water scarcity, food security, and a changing climate on top of it all raises a suite of water concerns that urgently need to be addressed (Handwerk, B. (n.d.). Sustainable Earth: Water - National Geographic).

Why is agriculture consumption so prominent (besides the obvious- our global families’ need of food)? The answer: we’ve built nations in places that aren’t sustainable for development. One-fifth of the world’s population (1.46 billion) live in areas of physical water scarcity (The World's 6 Most Pressing Environmental Issues. (n.d.). When that occurs, exports of food and dairy items become not only essential to our global families’ survival, they require the vast majority of our Earth’s number one resource, water, which is also essential to our survival. Worth noting, agriculture products are one of China’s and the UAE’s number one imports, and Saudi Arabia is inching-up that rank as well.

Aside from being a very high profit industry in the international and domestic markets, agriculture is responsible for 87% of the total water used globally. In Asia it accounts for 86% of total annual water withdrawal, compared with 49% in North and Central America and 38% in Europe. For example, rice growing, takes 5000 liters of water to produce 1 kg of rice, wheat consumes 4000 liters of water, and alfalfa, which consumes less water than the previous two products, consumes 50 billion gallons of water a year—enough to supply the annual household needs of half a million global families. (Human Appropriation of the World's Fresh Water Supply. (n.d.).

Since demand drives the water need, the need will only increase; therefore, available fresh water will only decrease. For example, the UAE government decided in 2008 to stop producing alfalfa hay in the kingdom due to their increasingly scarce water resources. In that part of the world, pumped water largely originates from fossil sources, which will never be renewed, ever. Additionally, knowledgeable sources expect a similar decision from the government of Saudi Arabia in the very near future. This illustrates the importance of water to the future of food production, and the resulting globalization of the feed supply all over the world (Culp, P., & Glennon, R. (2012, October 5). Parched in the West but Shipping Water to China, Bale by Bale).

The degradation of water quality not only poses supply problems for our population, but also has a huge, inevitable impact on marine life. Whether it’s through storm water runoff from cities or farms, dumping from industry, or ill-regulated efforts to drill for yet more oil, we’re increasingly filling our rivers, seas and oceans with toxic pollutants. From dolphins to coral, life in our seas is suffering tremendously. The Pacific Ocean is famously home to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, while the Gulf of Mexico has a sizable patch of nothing at all — a dead zone resulting from the travels of farmland fertilizers down the Mississippi River (Cameron, C. (2012, April 22). The World's 6 Most Pressing Environmental Issues).

At least 70,000 different chemicals are used regularly throughout the world, and there are between 200 and 400 toxic chemicals that contaminate the world’s waterways. It is also estimated that at least 1,000 new chemicals are introduced every year! And what happens at sea doesn’t stay at sea. With pollutants entering oceanic ecosystems, they invariably pollute our food. When these industrial wastes are combined with agricultural runoff, the problem of freshwater pollution becomes massive.

While it is true that advances in water chemistry as it relates to water treatment have done much to clean up the rivers and lakes in the industrialized world, over 90% of Europe’s rivers have nitrate levels that exceed established health thresholds, and one-half of the continent’s lakes are low in oxygen. The process, called eutrophication, occurs when excess nutrients stimulate the growth of algae in the water, which in turn rob the lake of oxygen necessary for animal life.

The United National General Assembly has recognized "the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human –rights." Making that right become a universal reality, and providing each person on the planet with affordable access to the 20 to 50 liters of daily (clean) water required to sustain life.

The Path to Solutions

Change begins with more efficient management of water resources. Vast improvements in infrastructure are required in order provide freshwater to areas which remain without, but also to ensure continued access in the face of widespread pollution, wastage and drought. We still have too few incentives for farmers to use water more efficiently. Farmers are good businesspeople; they respond to incentives that affect their bottom line.

I introduce The OmniProcessor.

The OmniProcessor is a biological systematic treatment of actions used to process fecal sludge – a mixture of human excreta and water – in developing countries. One of the main treatment aims is pathogen removal to stop the spread of disease from fecal sludge. The potential benefits are enormous. Forty percent of the global population—or 2.5 billion urban residents—practice open defecation or otherwise lack adequate sanitation, and an additional 2.1 billion urban residents use facilities that do not safely dispose of human waste. About 1.5 million children die every year from contaminated food and water, and in developing countries, half of all patients in hospitals are there because of problems with water and sanitation. What’s more, all this puts an economic strain on such countries. In India, bad sanitation practices cost the country nearly $54 billion a year, or 6.4 percent of its GDP.
The OmniProcessor can help solve these problems, because it’s so much more efficient than ordinary treatment plants. Modern sewage plants grab electricity from the grid, release water vapor into the atmosphere, and, oftentimes, buy up natural gas to create enough heat to incinerate the wet sludge. The OmniProcessor, on the other hand, recaptures squandered energy and puts it to use (Janicki Bioenergy- Omni Processor. (n.d.). This treatment process could be a huge step and possible solution to not only providing clean drinking water to underdeveloped nations, but to also serve as another resource to providing renewable energy.
If we really are a global family then we need to share in not only improving, but completely altering the global impact we as a family have placed on our planet. Systematically true with most families; some family members give more and some use more. At times we have been unaccepting of our family members that take and use more resources. This is a time to change that mindset. This is time to stop the “blame game” and unite on the greater cause, a universal agreement on climate change. If we truly care about not only our generation, but the generations to come, we will help each other to alter our collective global impact on Earth. In the Resolution which was adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September, 2015, these goals were stated:


We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.


We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through  sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.


We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.


We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.
Let’s stop the “blame game” and unite in global agreeance on a sustainable Earth.



Cameron, C. (2012, April 22). The World's 6 Most Pressing Environmental Issues. Retrieved from

Culp, P., & Glennon, R. (2012, October 5). Parched in the West but Shipping Water to China, Bale by Bale.

Retrieved from

Current World Population. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Handwerk, B. (n.d.). Sustainable Earth: Water - National Geographic. Retrieved from

Human Appropriation of the World's Fresh Water Supply. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Janicki Bioenergy- Omni Processor. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The World's 6 Most Pressing Environmental Issues. (n.d.). Retrieved from need- earth-day-7-most-pressing-environmental-problems-we-need-to- solve/(n.d.). Retrieved from
By Priyanka Vaidyanathan
 It was in the dusk of the Iraq War of 2003 that ISIS had its genesis. The Iraq War was fought between the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein and a coalition of the US, UK, Australia and Poland, led by the US. The USA alleged that Iraq had developed and secretly stored  Weapons of Mass Destruction and that  Saddam Hussein had supported a terrorist organisation. This paved the way for the US to overthrow a regime. There were many allegations to Saddam Hussein’s antagonistic treatment of the Shiites in his regime, though was known to the outer world of being a secular ruler [1]. This created a chasm in Iraq between the Shiite and the Sunni Muslims by the downfall of a tenacious Sunni regime.  Parallel to this ran a Jordanian fanatic Abu Musab Al-Zarqawis (sunni) thirst to create his own terror organisation, by taking advantage of the vacuum created in Iraq with respect to whether there should be a shia rule or a sunni rule,  he joined hands with Al-Qaeda to form “Al-Qaida in Iraq”( AQI) he had a strong malevolence against Shia Muslims thus forming a audacious Anti-Shia – Sunni group.

AQI indulged in bombing Shia holy places thereby amplifying the mutual hatred. By the unforeseen death of Zarqawi due to the bombing by US, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi rose as the next leader, who pronounced himself as a ‘caliph’, renaming AQI as Islamic State in 2011.[2] Further, another branch of Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusrat,  was  formed in Syria in late 2011[3]  which supported the rebels in Syria, this was headed by an AQI operative, which gained immense support in Syria,  amidst this massive support Islamic state collaborated  itself with Al-Nusra and gained the name Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It is imperative to note that ISIS has a strong military group, where the Caliph himself was in the Baathist Army and other ex-members of the regime.[4] This was a catalyst for the booming robust power.

The first successful step in an international platform was the recognition of the Islamic State as an insurgent group by US, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and neighbouring Arab states. Recognition of insurgency occurs out of necessity when the interests either of the de jure government or a third state are affected by the conflict, requiring the establishment of relations with the insurgent party.

ISIS elevated from it being an insurgent group and reached a penultimate stage of being a state by partially fulfilling the ‘criteria of a state’. According to Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention, prerequisite of a state are Population, Territory, Government and Independence. ISIS in its own organization has an estimated 25,000 operatives in Syria and Iraq[5], it controls 50% of Syria[6] and about two third of Iraq[7], it has established endemic governance wherein they collect tax, give their own identity card, they have their own schools and prescribed curriculum, and well established local governance, with this set up ISIS achieved to attract more number of people to its territory, it is an equal opportunity organization, this beget them to be a de facto state. 
A de facto state is a secessionist entity that receives popular support and has achieved sufficient capacity to provide governmental services to a given population in a defined territorial area, over which it maintains effective control for an extended period of time. A de facto state has impact over international system mainly in two ways, in area of conflict and political economy, ISIS has been prosperous in this regard, by indulging in armed conflict with the US, Russia, Iraq and Syria and the instability in Middle East has created an impact on global  political economy due its depreciating oil export[8].

 But the crunch arises regarding the international recognition of ISIS as a state. According to Article 10 of the Montevideo Convention primary interest of state is, recognition of peace which is not seen as they believe in jihad, to exterminate the nonbelievers,  further according to Article 11[9] other states are obligated not to recognize a state which has indulged in employment of arms and has territorial acquisition by force, ISIS is successful in gathering arms[10] to defend itself and apocalypse – eradicate non believers , thus ISIS  would be ‘sui generis’ – a special entity by itself. Owing to its status as a sui generis entity it qualifies to be a pseudo state, and not in its entirety. This is because it does not have the capacity to enter into a treaty or any negotiations with nation states, due its very own aggressive character and gross human rights violation.

  Main hitch in ISIS performance as a pseudo state is its inhuman atrocities towards mankind. It is especially appropriate to call for an armed group to respect human rights norms when it exercises significant control over territory and population and has an identifiable political structure[11]”.

Hence Regardless the intention, the foreplay by the coalition has led to more unknown unforeseen disastrous situation giving birth to a species – ISIS. Growing up to be a subject of International Law it is obligated to abide responsibilities, and it is for the better good that UN should curtail its growth owing to its violent character and reinstate peace. It is for the international community to slash the growth of a non state actor to a state actor, by realising idealistic utopian aim of ISIS – radicalisation of jihad.

[5] ISIS: Portrait of a Jihadi Terrorist Organization
[11] The Rights and Responsibilities of Armed Non-State Actors: The Legal Landscape & Issues Surrounding Engagement Andrew Clapham Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights


Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a great feminist and a symbol for women, because, like Malala, she sacrificed a lot for her opinions with the intent to contribute for better circumstances for girls from Middle Eastern or African countries. Having shared the experience of many women with their rights violated, Ayaan decided to run from a marriage chosen by her parents – on the ride to Canada, home of her future Muslim husband, she managed to stay in the Netherlands to study. After some time as a refugee with financial aid from the government, she decided to work and to study (University of Leiden) and was elected a member of the House of Representatives in 2003. 

        For her opinions, she felt constantly threatened and she is now on the black lists of many terrorist organizations. Her friend, who directed a movie with her, Theo van Gogh, was stabbed with a note for her.
                Like Malala, Ayaan values the importance of education and of liberty for women to choose their marriages and their professions. Her ideas are based on the notion that, such as Christianism, the State needs to be dissociated from religion, even from Islam and the citizens must assimilate the difference of the option to choose a religion and its principles from other coercive notions. The East, she says, should try to enforce these notions, which were established during the Enlightenment, such as education required for girls as well, especially in areas with many immigrants, who face such different realities on their countries.
                 Ayaan says she sees some three obstacles for the full integration of Muslims in other countries: the treatment of women under Islam; the difficulty to deal with monetary terms and relations and the violence existent among normal relations in these countries.
                Now the writer has many projects facilitating female empowerment and liberty, especially through her foundation. It is by studying and supporting these women’s ideas − real woman advocates who value education, culture and liberty -- that we can make a difference and help other girls who share different stories and face a hard struggle daily, as well as learn the most appropriated tools, from a juridical perspective, to understand and to deal with modern issues related to the subject.

                                                                     Gabriela Isa R. V. Campos
By Olaya Alvarez

‘“I feel that God made my body perfect the way I was born.
Then man robbed me, took away my power, and left me a cripple. My womanhood was stolen. If God had wanted those body parts missing, why did he create them?
I just pray that one day no woman will have to experience this pain. It will become a thing of the past.”
Waris Dirie, Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad

FGM as an extreme Human Rights Violation:
Female Genital Mutilation[1] is a form of gender-based violence which violates girl’s and women’s human rights, an extreme form of discrimination against women, and an expression of gender inequality[2].
It comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.[3] As consequence, FGM provokes severe physical and psychological disorders to the victim’s health both, in the short and the long-term. The increasing of childbirth risks and on newborn babies have been also proved.
Although there is no religious support based on holy texts and this practice is previous to both, Christianity and Islam, religion is commonly used as an alibi to execute the mutilation. Besides religion, grounds based on culture, tradition, honour or sexuality are provided to uphold this human right’s violation.
As of February 2014, the World Health Organization estimated that 125 million women and girls in Africa and Middle East, have been victims of female genital mutilation[4].
FGM violates several human rights principles, starting from the principles of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex, or the right to freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. When the procedure results in death, the right to life is concerned; and as long as it is carried out in absence of medical necessity, it embodies a violation of the person’s right to the highest attainable standard of health.
As FGM procedure is performed mostly in girls between 0 and 15, the core protection provided by rights of the child is directly affected through the FGM practice, being this a form of persecution against childhood[5].
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child does not explicitly refer to FGM, but it calls to the abolition of ‘traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.’[6] When considering the best interest of the child contained in article 3, parents or relatives may perceive FGM provides huge benefits, introducing the girl within the society, and providing her a proper future. Nevertheless, such a beliefs cannot justify an irreparable harm, and the serious consequences which derive from it, sometimes in death.  
Furthermore, UN is concerned about the increasing rate of medical staff involved in this practices, as it is calculated that the 18% of procedures are carried into effect by health care providers[7]. The performance by medical staff not only embodies a human rights violation, but is absolutely against the basic medical ethic to ‘Do no harm’.
First international efforts to ban the practice:
The debate at international level traced back its roots around final 70’s, when feminist collectives started to raise their voices against the practice. With occasion of the UN Decade for Women, Female Genital Mutilation is for the first time tackled, and throughout 80’s the public debate would be for the very first time open. In 1986 is issued the UN ECOSOC Report of the Working Group on Traditional Practices affecting the Health of Women and Children, which condemns the practice as a ‘women’s and children’s rights violation’, but an active strategy is refused, recommending to raise education and awareness. In 1993, the UN’s World Human Rights Conference would define FGM as a form of Violence against Women, hence falling within the International Human Rights Law framework.
Subsequently, in 1997 the World Health Organization published a joint declaration with the UNFDPA and UNICEF on which they condemned the female genital mutilation. On July 2003, the Maputo Protocol on the rights of women is passed within the African Union, complementing the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. Its article 5 sets up the harmful practices’ elimination, which directly includes FGM.
On December 2012, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 67/146, which is the first-ever resolution against FGM, and draws attention of the international community to increase the efforts and fight more fiercely.
In the last two decades, 22 African countries and 33 States outside Africa and the Middle East, have already passed banning legislation, some of them containing extra-territoriality clauses. In most Africa practicing countries FGM has already been legally banned, although the rate of prevalence among women aged 15-19 remains high.[8]

Refugee Women: status on grounds of FGM
Under the 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is ‘someone who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership or a particular social group, or political opinion’.[9] Concretely, FGM may be framed as a form of persecution by reason of membership of a particular social group, political opinion or religion. The membership of a particular social group embodies a significant step forward, recognizing all women as part of a vulnerable group for the purpose of protection against Female Genital Mutilation in some given societies.[10]
As first step to found the claimant’s refugee status, a well-founded fear of persecution linked to any of the grounds provided by the Convention should be corroborated. Thus, well-founded fear of persecution is easily demonstrable when laws emanated from traditional or cultural norms or practices are in force[11]. Likewise, a State can be rendered culprit of breach international human rights law when expels a girl or woman to a country where she would suffer from this practice[12], not being FGM prohibited within that State, or even being prohibited is commonly practised.
However, protection must be provided not only in case of threat, but even when the person has already suffered from the procedure and has a well-founded fear of future persecution[13]. What is more, refugee status must be likewise granted when the persecution suffered has given rise to ongoing traumatic psychological effects, and return to the country is considered unbearable[14]. Even in countries where FGM is criminalized, it cannot be assumed the claimant will be protected by the authorities, as the law may not be enforced or not consistently enforced in all areas.[15]
Refugee status can, and should be granted where the State has failed to impose criminal sanctions, or bring charges against perpetrators.
Once the well-founded fear is determined, it should be taken into account whether an internal flight or relocation alternative is both, relevant and reasonable. In case the practice of FGM within that country is universal or near-universal, internal flight will not be considered as relevant. Alike, the lack of protection in some parts of the country, tends to indicate the State will not be able to protect the women or girls in the whole country[16]. In spite of criminalization of the practice, it might not be assumed the protection is guaranteed, and thus, the refugee status conceded.
Regarding relocation, it is not relevant when the risk of persecution may arise again. The key element in analysing relocation is that applicant must be afforded to live a ‘relatively normal life without undue hardship’.[17]
Finally, it is important to stress that, according to UNHCR: ‘the burden of proof is discharged by the applicant rendering a truthful account of facts relevant to the claim so that, based on the facts, a proper decision may be reached.’[18]
Despite of all the indicated above, and bearing in mid FGM is considered a form of ill-treatment contrary to article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, it results controversial the recent case-law within the European Court of Human Rights.
The asylum claims have been rejected[19] on the basis of ill-founding, or ‘failure to substantiate the real and concrete risk’. In all four cases, the FGM-practising country of origin is Nigeria, where FGM has been recently banned (as of May 2015), and where the mutilated women rate in some regions raises up to 56’9% according to UNICEF statistics[20].
In case Collins and Akaziebie v. Sweden, it is argued by the Court the failure to substantiate a risk, when the applicant has shown ‘a considerable amount of strength and independence’, and could live in other Nigeria states where FGM is prohibited or less widespread, even when argued by the applicant the extreme difficulty which implies for a woman live alone in Nigeria, with her daughters without any relatives nearby.
Two applications still remain pending[21].

State’s responsibility, and accountability:
Even though States have not the duty nor the power to eradicate every risk of harm, they are bound to take all effective and appropriate measures to eliminate human rights’ violations, as FGM[22]. According to UN, States have three main obligations in relation to human rights[23]: respect, protections from social or environmental threats, and fulfil the entitlement through facilitation or direct provision.
The bound in relation to FGM is not only conformed of the prohibition through appropriate legislation and sanctions at each level of government, including the use of medical facilities. Additionally States must take an active role in the fight against FGM, taking appropriate prevention activities, and raising awareness and mobilizing public opinion against it. It must be stressed that all these obligations also concern States with immigrant population practicing FGM.[24]
Hence, the only legal prohibition of the practice is not enough to conclude that the State is providing suitable protection. When a State is not fighting effectively against it, or customary practices still have a pervasive influence, even if banned, the practice still implies persecution.
Subsequently to the legislative ban, States must ensure that perpetrators are duly prosecuted and punished. [25] Hence, not only privates can be considered as agents of persecution, but also medical staff, or even the State itself when the procedure is carried out in government-run facilities.[26] Furthermore, obligations under the rights of the child must be referred to, as child’s best interests are the paramount consideration[27] and its protection a State’s duty.
However, all over the world only few criminal cases have come about, being France the leading State with 40 prosecutions against FGM practice.[28] In Egypt, the first practitioner has been convicted on January 2015 to two years in prison for manslaughter, and three months for the FGM performance.

Cultural rights are out of doubt, ‘an integral part of human rights, which are universal, indivisible and interdependent’, as established in the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity[29]. Nevertheless, a human rights violation consistent on gender-based violence cannot be justified by invoking ‘a custom, tradition or religious consideration’[30].
Although the positive evolution on this matter during the last 20 years, the final goal consisting on the total elimination is still far away. With almost 3 million of estimated new victims every year in Africa.
International pressure is the only hope for millions of girls and women, not only in legal terms, but through suitable investment and information within those communities. In Waris Dirie’s words: ‘If you want to help Africa, stop donating – start investing.’

[1] Hereinafter referred to as FGM.
[2] Inter-Agency, Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation. An Interagency Statement, February 2008
[3]  WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, UNICEF., & UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND. Female genital mutilation: a joint WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA statement. 1997.
[4] World Health Organization. Female Genital Mutilation. Fact sheet N°241.
[5] UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 19
[6] Ibid. Article 24(3)
[7] WHO. Fact sheet N°241.
[8] Somalia 96,7%; Guinea 94%; Mali 90.3%; Djibouti 89,5%; Sudan 84%; or Egypt 81%. See Demographic Perspectives on Female Genital Mutilation. UNFPA.
[9] UN General Assembly, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 28 July 1951. Article 1.
[10] Guidelines on International Protection No. 2: “Membership of a particular social group” within the context of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, 7 May 2002, (HCR/GIP/02/02)
[11] Guidelines on International Protection No. 1: Gender-related persecution within the context of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, 7 May 2002, (HCR/GIP/02/01);
[12] Principle of non-refoulement. 1951 Refugee Convention (Article 33); 1984 Convention Against Torture (Article 3).
[13] N High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Handbook and Guidelines on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, December 2011, HCR/1P/4/ENG/REV
[14] UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Guidance Note on Refugee Claims relating to Female Genital Mutilation, May 2009
[15] UNHCR, Guidelines on International Protection No. 4: Internal flight or relocation alternative within the context of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, 2003, HCR/GIP/03/04.
[16] Guidelines on International Protection No. 4: Internal flight or relocation alternative within the context of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention and/or 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, 23 July 2003, (HCR/GIP/03/04).
[17] Ibid.
[18] UNHCR, Note on Burden and Standard of Proof in Refugee Claims, 16 December 1998.
[19] Collins and Akaziebie v. Sweden, Application no. 23944/05, Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights, 8 March 2007;
Izevbekhai and Others v. Ireland, Application no. 43408/08, Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights, 17 May 2011;
Ameh and Others v. United Kingdom, Application  no. 4539/11, Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights, 30 August 2011;
Omeredo v. Austria, Application no. 8969/10, Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights, 20 September 2011.
[21] Sow v. Belgium, Application no. 27081/13, Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights;
Bangura v. Belgium, Application no. 52872/10, Council of Europe: European Court of Human Rights.
[22] UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), CEDAW General Recommendation No. 14: Female Circumcision, 1990, A/45/38
[23] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), General comment No. 15 (2013) on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (art. 24), 17 April 2013, CRC/C/GC/15
[24] It is estimated FGM has affected 500.000 women in Europe, and in the US 500,000 women have undergone it or are likely to undergo it.
[25] DEVAW, Article 4.c. A/RES/ 48/104. December 1993.
[26] UNHCR. Note on Refugee Claims.  
[27] UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), General comment No. 14 (2013) on the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration (art. 3, para. 1), 29 May 2013, CRC /C/GC/14.
[28] EIGE Report. Female Genital Mutilation in the European Union and Croatia. 2013
[29] UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. Article 5.
[30] UN’s Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.