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Choice of religious upbringing for child not a basis for international protection


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In SS (Malaysia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 888 a child’s Christian mother had fled with the child from Malaysia after the father said he was to convert to Islam, fearing that their child would be brought up a Muslim not a Christian. The Court of Appeal rejected the argument that denial of the right to bring up one’s child in one’s own religion was a flagrant denial of the right to religion. It was in the child’s best interests to be brought up in his home country by both parents and it was for the courts of that country to settle any dispute between the parents. The court avoided the issue of whether male circumcision might ‘in some circumstances’ amount to a breach of a child’s human rights.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.