Muslim Women's Claims to Refugee Status within the Context of Child Custody Upon Divorce Under Islamic Law
Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko
Irish Centre for Human Rights
February 26, 2010
International Journal of Refugee Law, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 48-71, 2010
This article analyses case law from the UK, New Zealand, and Canada relating to claims for recognition of refugee status presented by divorced Muslim women, revolving around the issue of child custody after divorce under conservative Islamic law, which deprives women of any meaningful relationship with their children. The negative attitude of the UK authorities is compared to the open and positive approach of decision makers in New Zealand and Canada. The use and interpretation of aspects of the refugee definition, such as persecution, particular social group and the standard of state protection, are analyzed in more detail. The article argues that, in order to adequately evaluate this type of claim, decision makers should take into account all aspects of a woman's experiences including the consequences of the decision on their children.
Keywords: Refugee, gender related persecution, child custody, divorce, Islamic law
Date posted: March 30, 2010