Judge moves to protect sisters living in Africa after social workers raise concerns

A High Court judge in London has taken steps to protect two sisters living more than 4,000 miles away in Africa after social workers said they were at risk.

Mrs Justice Knowles was told that the girls’ mother had taken them to the Republic of Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia.

Council social services bosses said there was evidence that the girls, aged 16 and 10, could be forced to marry and be subjected to genital mutilation.

The judge has made them wards of court, a move which gives judges control over their movements.

She has also ordered their return to England and made orders aimed at preventing them from being forced to marry or subjected to genital mutilation.

The judge has outlined detail of the case in a ruling published online following a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Mrs Justice Knowles said the woman was a British citizen and one of the girls was British.

She said she thought it appropriate to exercise her jurisdiction in an effort to protect the youngsters.

The judge said the girls could not be named in media reports of the case.

But she indicated that the family had lived in London and said social services bosses at Waltham Forest Council (pictured) had responsibilities for the girls’ welfare and had asked her make protective orders.

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