Status of african legislations on FGM

Legislation on 25 countries


Legislation against FGM

1. Benin

Law passed in 3rd March 2003 banning all forms of FGM. Law no. 2003-03 on the Repression of the Practice of FGM in the Republic of Benin.
Article 2 prohibits all forms of FGM
Article 4 imposes a prison term from 6 months to 3 years and a fine 100,000 to 2,000,000 francs
Article 5 imposes a higher penalty for those who perform FGM on minors (persons below 18yrs) by imposing a term of 3 yrs –5yrs imprisonment and a maximum fine of 3 million francs.
Article 6 states that where the victim dies, the culprit will serve 5 to 20 years of hard labour and a fine of 3million to 6 million francs
Article 7 states that accomplices will punished as the actual circumciser
Article 8 states that multiple offenders will be given the maximum penalty without any mitigation
Article 9 states that person who refuse to report the occurrence of FGM will receive the same penalty for ‘refusing to report the crime’
Persons are supposed to report any occurrence of FGM to the Public Prosecutors office and failure to do so amount to a fine of 50,000-100,000 francs.
Article 10 obliges the medical staff to assist the FGM victim/survivor and they must inform the public authorities

2. Burkina Faso

Law no. 43/96/ADP was enacted on 13th November 1996.
Article 380 any person who violates or attempts to violate the physical integrity of the female genital organ either in total or ablation, excision, infibulation, desensitization or by any other means will be imprisoned for 6 months to three years and a fine of 150,000-900,000 francs or by either punishment.
If FGM results in death, the punishment shall be imprisonment for 5-10 years
Article 381 imposes the maximum punishment for persons in the medical and paramedical field
Article 382 a person having knowledge of the acts outlined in article 380 and who fails to report to the proper authorities will be fined 50,000 to 100,000 francs

3. Cameroon**

No current FGM laws or Penal code provisions however provisions on grievous bodily harm at article 277 –281 of the Penal code can be used

4. Central African Republic

In 1996 the then president issued an ordinance prohibiting the practice of FGM.


Law no 6/PR/2002 on the promotion of reproductive health has provisions prohibiting FGM

6. Cote d’Iviore

Law passed in 1998 ***

7. Democratic Republic of Congo

No law provisions on FGM but the Penal Code article 46-48 on ‘intentional bodily injury’ can be used to address FGM

8. Djibouti

1995 the Penal Code was amended to include prohibition on FGM. Article 333 of the Penal code provides that ‘acts of violence resulting in Genital Mutilation are punishable by imprisonment for 5 years and a fine of 1,000,000 francs. Penal code does not define the term FGM.

9. Egypt

Ministerial decree 1996 prohibits FGM

10. Eritrea

No law on FGM in Eritrea

11. Ethiopia

No law

12. The Gambia

No law

13. Ghana

The Constitution at article 26 (2) prohibits all customary practices, which dehumanise or are injurious to the physical and mental well being of a person. Article 39 (2) states that government policy objective is to ensure that traditional practices which are injurious and harmful are abolished.
In 1994, amendment to the criminal code made FGM a criminal offence. Article 69A imposes a sentence of not more than three years

14. Guinea

A law was passed in February 2006 against FGM. The law no. 2005 of ----- provides at
Chapter one defines FGM
Chapter two provides the penalty for those who perform FGM, regardless of whether they are in the traditional or modern set up (article 8)
Article 9 provides for imprisonment between 6 months to 2 years and/ or a fine of 300,000 to 1,000,000 francs
Article 10 provides that persons in the medical field receive the maximum sentence for performing FGM.

15. Guinea Bissau

No law but penal provisions may be applicable

16. Kenya

The Children’s Act No. 8 of 2001 FGM of persons under the age of 18yrs at section 14. It prohibits FGM and other harmful practices that ‘negatively affect’ children and gives a penalty of twelve month imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding fifty thousand shillings.

17. Liberia

Liberia has no specific law on FGM. Section

18. Mali

Law no. 02-044 passed on 24th June 2002 on Reproductive health outlaws FGM while ordinance 04-019 incorporates the Maputo Protocol into law

19. Mauritania

(Ordinance no. 2005-015) Chapter II Article 12 Penal Code prohibits the practice of FGM on infants and children (defined as those below the age of 18). The punishment is up to four years and a fine of 120,000-300,000 ouguiya

20. Niger

Law no. 2003-025 made an amendment to the Penal Code which criminalized all forms of FGM article 232.1-232.3

21. Nigeria

No federal law banning FGM, some states have banned FGM such as Edo State, Ogun, Cross River, Osun, Rivers and Bayelsa states. Bill H22

22. Senegal

In January 1999, the Penal Code was amended, article 299 of the Penal Code criminalizes FGM

23. Sierre Leone

No law

24. Somalia

No law

25. Sudan

No law

26. Tanzania

Penal Code amended in 1998 which criminalized FGM at Article 169A Penal Code

27. Togo

Law no. 98-016 was enacted to prohibits FGM
Article 1 forbids all forms of FGM
Article 2 gives the definition of FGM and excludes operation performed for medical reasons
Article 3 states that all persons who perform FGM whether in the traditional or modern set up will be punished for ‘intentionally causing physical harm’
Article 4 provides punishment for the offence created at article 3, between 2 months to 5 years imprisonment or a fine of 100,000-1,000,000 francs or one or both imprisonment and fine.
Multiple offenders will receive a double penalty***
Article 5 provides that where the FGM results in death of the victim, the punishment will be between 5 – 10 years imprisonment
Article 6 provides punishment for person who fails to notify the public authorities of occurrence FGM or attempted FGM; such person shall be imprisonment for a period of one month to one year or receive a fine of between 20,000-500,000 francs.
This includes parents, relatives till the fourth generation, accomplices
Article 7 requires both public and private hospitals to assist victims of FGM by giving all the help necessary