Karen Musalo

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Karen Musalo, who now directs the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, "was teaching the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University in Fall 1996 when a student came to her about an unusual asylum case involving a young girl fleeing female genital cutting in Togo.

"The case involved Fauziya Kassindja. Fauziya was then a 17 year old young woman from Togo who fled her home country to escape female genital cutting (FGC) and life in a forced polygamous marriage. Fauziya arrived in the United States only to be placed in detention. By the time Karen became involved, Fauziya had already been denied asylum by an Immigration Judge, who found that she was not credible and that FGC did not present a basis for asylum." [1]

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