Citation: 2020 RLLR 68
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: September 1, 2020
Panel: Aminata Touré
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Arthur Ayers
RPD Number: MC0-08298
Associated RPD Number(s): MC0-08299
ATIP Number: A-2021-00800
ATIP Pages: 000058-000062
 MEMBER: I’m going to render my decision and it goes as followed. I have considered your testimony and the other evidence presented in this case. Now, I am ready to render my decision.
 This is the decision from the Refugee Protection Division under claim for refugee protection of the claimants [XXX], file number is MC0-08298, and their minor child, [XXX], MC0-08299.
 The principal claimant is a citizen of Guinea while her child is a citizen of the United States of America. You are making refugee claims pursuant to s. 96 and 97(1)(8) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
 You have been appointed as the designated representative for your daughter. I have considered and applied the chairperson guideline number 3 for children refugee claimant as well as the guideline number 4 for women claimants who fear gender-based persecution.
 I would like to add that when reasons are issued, a written form of the reason may be edited for spelling, syntax, and grammar, and references to the applicable case law and documentary evidence may also be included.
 I find that you, the principal claimant, is a Convention refugee for the following reasons as a member of a social group, women who are subjected to forced marriage. I found that your child is not a refugee or a person in need of protection because of fear to return to the United States has not been established.
 You alleged the following. You were the subject of a forced marriage by your father while in Guinea. You were beaten and abused by your husband. You left the country in [XXX] 2009, a few months after your wedding, with the help of your mother. You went to the United States of America where you had your child.
 You alleged that if you return to Guinea, you would be killed or beaten by your ex-husband or by your father because you dishonoured your family and also because you had a child out of wedlock. You alleged that there’s no state protection for you or an internal flight alternative.
 Your personal identity as a citizen of Guinea has been established by your testimony and your passport on file. The identity of your child has been established by her birth certificate and passport from the United States. I therefore find that on a balance of probabilities the identity and countries of reference have been established.
Well-Founded Fear in Guinea, Credibility
 In terms of your general credibility, I have found you to be a credible witness and therefore I accept what you have alleged in your overall testimony and in your Basis of Claim form. In support of your claim, you have provided documents confirming your allegation such as a marriage certificate and a written and also the oral testimony from your mother.
 Your testimony was straightforward and was in keeping with your Basis of Claim form and there was no significant inconsistencies or omissions. You gave details about the wedding, the discussion you had with the people around you, the abuse you went through while married, and how your father imposed his decision on you and the rest of the family.
 The testimony of your mother also confirmed your allegations. I addressed contradiction regarding your education in your forms, but I find that this contradiction is minor and does not affect the heart of your claim. Plus, you explained that you were really stressed when you filled the forms at your arrival in Canada.
 I also asked questions about birth certificate that was requested by your father in 2019 according to its own content, you said that there was no way that your father requested that document for you. Your mother confirmed that she requested the document. All of that does not explain the content of the document. It is not enough to overturn your credibility in general.
 I therefore find the following allegations to be credible. You were a subject of a forced marriage. Your mother helped you leave Guinea because of that marriage and the ill treatment and abuse you went through while living with your husband. Your father considered your decision to leave as a humiliation and wants to punish you for that.
Nexus with the Convention
 I find that there’s a link between what you fear and one of the Convention grounds specifically the social group. Therefore, this claim has been assessed under 96.
State Protection and Objective Evidence
 I find that the adequate state protection will not be available to you in Guinea. The objective documentary evidence at Tab 5.1.7 of the NDP indicated that forced marriage is a practice that persists in Guinea and is common. The prevalence of early marriage is among the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. The UN agency states that forced marriage is particularly common among the Fulani and the Malinke.
 You have testified that you have attempt to seek protection, which your mother confirms. The police told you that they would not intervene in the family matter. The objective evidence indicates that the civil could protect from forced marriage and it is a punishable offence, but it seems like the disposition of the law are not adequately implemented because of the prevalence of forced marriage in Guinea.
 The UN agency indicates that it is generally very difficult to refuse forced marriage in Guinea. Although some forces indicate that women with education have a higher chance to be able to refuse marriage, they will still face rejection by society because of their decision. Fleeing marriage is considered humiliation for the family.
 The objective evidence confirms that forced marriage is seen as a family matter by the authorities. There is a limited access to help because of the Jack of resources. In light of the objective country documentation, I find that the claimant has refuted the presumption of state protection. Based on your personal circumstances as well as the objective country documentation, I find that the adequate state protection will not be available to you in Guinea.
 I have also considered whether viable internal flight alternatives exist for you. I have identified [XXX] as a possible IFA. You mentioned that your father has family there although you were not able to explain exactly how he will find you, it is clear that a single young mother without high education would be under unreasonable difficulties in a small city without family support. The only person who could help you in Guinea is your mother and she lives in Conakry where you would be exposed to your agent of persecution.
 The documentary evidence indicates that — and that is at Tab 5.1.11 — that a representative of the department family states that, “In many cases single woman can find housing only if they are accompanied by a family member who is also required to provide proof of the familial relationship. The situation where it is easy for her to get housing without any condition attached, she might be subjected to harassment from either the landlord or the person who helped her obtain the housing.”
 He also states that, “It is often difficult for women to move around on their own and to settle elsewhere alone. They often need support from the family or from a man. Women are also strongly advised against travelling or relocating to a new community alone. There is in fact cause to fear for their safety. However, age and the presence of a dependent children can be mitigating factors.”
 Taking into consideration profile of the claimant and their personal situation, [XXX] would not be a reasonable IFA for her as a single woman with no support. I mentioned the credibility, but I just want to add regarding the subjective fear that I also consider that fact that you did not claim for refugee protection in the United States but since I do believe that you would face persecution if you had to go back to Guinea, I think that it is not something that is central to the decision.
 Therefore, I did not take that — the fact that you didn’t claim for protection in the United States — as something that affected my decision.
Well-Founded Fear in the United States for the Child
 As for your child, considering that your lawyer mentioned that you did not have any specific fear for her in the United States, considering that there’s no fear of persecution or any threat under 97 for your child there, I find that you did not establish a well-founded fear for her in the United States.
 Based on the totality of the evidence, I find that the principal claimant is a Convention refugee. Your claim is therefore accepted. As for your child, you have not established a serious possibility of persecution or the risk under 97. Therefore, I find that she’s not a refugee or a person in need of protection. Her claim is rejected.
 So, that concludes my decision. I really want to thank you for your testimony today and also, I want to thank Counsel for his support and I really wish you the best.
 CLAIMANT: Thank you so much.
 MEMBER: No problem.
 COUNSEL: Thank you, Madam Board Member.
 MEMBER: I just —