Women fleeing the tyranny of “female genital mutilation” are “refugees”…? Lives cut short by immigration law reform | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Women fleeing the tyranny of “female genital mutilation” are “refugees”…? Lives cut short by immigration law reform

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Opposition to the revision of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act is growing. Amidst the sloppiness of refugee applications, there are fears that a forced vote will be taken. Behind the heartbreaking appeal, “Don’t kill me any more…

This scar is from a cut on a window pane when I escaped from my home at the age of 14,” Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth told us, showing us the scar on her ankle. Originally from Nigeria, she came to Japan to escape the custom of female genital mutilation in her home country.

In my country, female genital mutilation is still practiced. It is done at home, not in a hospital, and the ‘procedure’ is performed not by a doctor but by an elderly woman in the community. There is no anesthesia, and I have seen many girls undergoing the procedure, screaming and crying. Two of my cousins died after this procedure. The earliest children undergo the procedure as babies, without knowing what to expect. In my area, it is done by the age of 14 or 15 at the latest.”

While other girls and schoolmates were being “treated,” Elizabeth’s mother tried to protect her daughter.

‘My mother herself had the procedure when she was very young and suffered the aftereffects. I am an only child. My mother had repeated miscarriages with each pregnancy, and I was the only one born safely.

When I turned 14 and she could no longer protect me, she let me go because she didn’t want me to have to go through what she went through.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a practice practiced in some African, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries. There are three types of FGM: (1) partial or total clitoral removal, (2) partial or total removal of the labia minora, and (3) joining the vaginal opening by sewing it shut. (WHO = World Health Organization).

The WHO notes that “there is absolutely no medical justification for FGM. but “at least 200 million women in 30 countries around the world experience FGM” (UNICEF Survey (2016). FGM: A Global Concern).

Although it is difficult to understand the current situation because there are various methods and backgrounds in different countries and regions, and because it is rarely discussed publicly, it is still secretly continued as a “culture and tradition.

Women who have not undergone FGM are considered to be going against tradition. My family was an old local family, and under my father, who respected tradition, the mutilation procedure was considered a matter of course. But I didn’t want to, I was afraid. So I ran away from home.”

Elizabeth moved from place to place within Nigeria before coming to Japan in ’91 at the age of 24. Since then, she has worked at a printing factory and a dry-cleaning store.

In ’95, I wanted to see my mother at first sight. I was ashamed of my family for running away from FGM, and I was afraid that if they found me, they would hurt me badly.

Although he did not get to see his beloved mother in her final days, he has never forgotten her for letting him go to save his body and his life.

In ’12, he applied for “refugee status,” was denied, and was once detained in an immigration facility. He is currently living in Ibaraki Prefecture with a “provisional release permit” and is in the process of applying for refugee status for the second time.

He is currently residing in Ibaraki Prefecture with a “provisional release permit” and is in the process of applying for a second refugee status. I am now visiting immigration facilities around the country to encourage the detainees. As a Christian, it is my ‘job’ to send God’s strength to those in need.

Elizabeth’s application for refugee status is based on a deep-rooted tradition, and the decision is very difficult. The revision of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, which is currently being debated in the Diet, is being opposed from this perspective as well.

Among those who flee to Japan with political backgrounds, there are not a few who bear the cruel scars of torture in their home countries on their bodies. If these people are returned to their countries, they may be tortured or executed. To return them to their countries would be to give their lives. Now, the immigration bill that is about to be revised, will make it possible in principle to deport refugee applicants after the third time. Therefore, I am saying that people will die. Also, Japan’s immigration system has often been called a “violation of international human rights law” by international organizations. And now, it is going to be further ‘revised’.” (Chie Komai, attorney at law, Milestone Law Office)

Government that discriminates against foreigners is also cold to Japanese

The voices opposing the “revision” of the Immigration Control Act are growing louder by the day. On May 7, the last day of the consecutive holidays, people gathered one after another in Koenji at a park where the demonstration was to be held. As the rain intensified, those who could not fit into the park filled the sidewalks as far as the train station.

I have never participated in a demonstration before, but when I learned about the current situation of foreigners in Japan through Twitter, I felt sympathy for them. I also have a sense of crisis that what these people are being subjected to will one day be done to Japanese people as well.

On the day of the demonstration, the sister of Wishma, a Sri Lankan woman who lost her life at the Nagoya immigration office, and others also participated in the walk. In the pouring rain, the number of participants in the demonstration rose to 3,000. Since then, there have been calls against the Immigration Control Act in Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and other cities throughout Japan.

Although there have been very few reports, the number of participants in the rally in front of the National Diet and the demonstration in Shibuya has been increasing rapidly, reaching 7,000 at the end of last week. There are growing voices asking whether the immigration law can be overlooked as a problem for foreigners. In a society where poverty is spreading, the role of the government should be to help those in need,” said Daisaku Seto of the Anti-Poverty Network, who called for the rally.

Since 2007, at least 18 people have lost their lives at immigration facilities where they were detained for “illegal stay. There are more than 110 refugee examination counselors who judge refugee applications, but their work is unevenly distributed, with the most experienced counselors examining 40 cases a day, each case taking only “12 minutes. In such a situation, is it possible to properly judge applications from foreigners with complex and diverse backgrounds, including traditional backgrounds such as female genital mutilation, political situations in various countries, and historical conflicts among ethnic groups? The work of handling human lives is incredibly heavy.

A country that mistreats the lives of foreign nationals will also mistreat the lives of its own citizens. Protecting human rights is not a matter of whether you can or cannot do it. We have no choice but to do it. (Attorney Komai)

The Fumio Kishida administration, which has overwhelming power, is required to listen to citizens’ voices, deepen discussions, and make unbiased decisions, rather than force a vote by force. What is being questioned is the “consciousness of life” toward human beings in general.

Elizabeth’s scars from running away from home at the age of 14. But if she had stopped, she would have suffered a scar that would never heal: female genital mutilation!
If I go back, I will be killed. I want to stay in Japan,” Elizabeth pleads. The number of signatures requesting permission to stay in Japan reached an unprecedented 38,000.
Many opposition party members, including Mr. Taiga Ishikawa, a member of the House of Councilors’ Committee on Legal Affairs, have joined the demonstrations and standings against the revision of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. The number of people “is increasing more and more with each passing day.

Photo Gallery4 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles