BanFGM Conference Rome - Final declaration

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation - Italian Senate, Rome, 30 January – 1 February 2017


We, the participants in the BanFGM Conference on the worldwide ban on female genital mutilation, organized in Rome, Italy on 30-31 January 2017, by No Peace Without Justice and the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC) with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Agency for Cooperation,
Reaffirming that female genital mutilation is a violation of human rights, the perpetuation of inequality between the sexes and a form of discrimination against women and girls, and constitutes an extreme attempt to control their sexuality, denying them their rights and autonomy;
Recalling the important steps in the common commitment of NPWJ and the IAC in the fight for the elimination of female genital mutilation, particularly in the juridical, legislative and legal sphere, namely: 

  • The Afro Arab Expert Consultation on Legal Tools for the prevention of female genital mutilation”, Cairo, Egypt 21-23 June 2003 
  • International conference on female genital mutilation “Developing a political, legal and social environment to implement the Maputo Protocol”, Nairobi, Kenya 16-18 September 2004 
  • Sub-regional Conference on FGM “Towards a political and religious consensus against FGM”, Djibouti, 2-3 February 2005 
  • Sub-regional conference on FGM and the implementation of the Maputo Protocol, Bamako, Mali 21-23 February 2006 
  • Cairo Declaration on FGM + 5 High-level Meeting, Cairo, Egypt 14-15 December 2008 
  • High Level Meeting “From Cairo to Ouagadougou:  Towards a Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation”, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso 9-10 November 2009 
  • Dakar Interparliamentary Conference on FGM “Towards the ban of the practice at the United Nations”, Dakar, Senegal 3-4 May 2010 
  • Ministerial Sub-regional Consultation to foster effective implementation of the UN Resolution banning female genital mutilation, Dakar, Senegal 26-27 April 2016

Considering the historic adoption, on 20 December 2012, of United Nations General Assembly Resolution “Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation”, reinforced by Resolutions 69/150 in 2014 and 71/168 in 2016;
Congratulating the African Union and the Group of African States at the United Nations, whose efforts led to the introduction and rapid adoption of Resolution 67/146 and its further strengthening, as well as all the other States who supported this process at the United Nations;
Considering the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and their optional protocols, which comprise a fundamental normative framework for the promotion and protection of the human rights of women and girls;
Considering also the regional instruments engaging States to eliminate female genital mutilation, especially the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and the Istanbul Convention, which call on States to take all necessary measures to guarantee prevention, protection and support for victims;
Considering in particular the adoption and application of national, regional and international laws aimed at eliminating FGM;
Recalling Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, calling for the elimination of all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation;
Considering that female genital mutilation is a global problem, as it is practiced in many regions worldwide;
Congratulating the tireless efforts of activists worldwide, in particular of women’s and girls’ organizations, in the promotion and defence of the rights of women and girls;
Considering that on the eve of the 15th International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, this violation of the rights of women and girls persists, despite significant results achieved at many levels,
We engage to:
Pursue the call to parliamentarians and other decision makers for the adoption, revision and application of effective legislative and regulatory measures aimed at the elimination of FGM;
Exhort States to provide legitimacy and protection by providing the means to both the human rights defenders who work for the elimination of harmful social norms, as well as to victims and potential victims who refuse to submit in silence to this violation;
Encourage States to provide quantitative and qualitative reports on their implementation of UNGA Resolution 71/168;
Pursue advocacy aimed at strengthening the exchange of best practices for the elimination of female genital mutilation, including bilateral and multilateral mechanisms;
Contribute to ensuring that legislation on FGM be integrated into the normative framework protecting and promoting the rights of women and girls;
Promote the elimination of all forms of medicalisation and the trivialisation of female genital mutilation;
Support all efforts that demonstrate that female genital mutilation has no religious base;
Support the mobilisation of young people, men, women, religious and traditional leaders, health professionals, the media and traditional communicators, educators, those providing testimonials, and all stakeholders in sensitisation and advocacy towards public institutions and communities for the elimination of female genital mutilation and the promotion of human rights;
Participate in the strengthening of the synergies among all stakeholders, in particular government-civil society cooperation aimed at the elimination of female genital mutilation and the promotion of the rights of women and girls;
Support and promote victims (including also of intersex genital mutilation) through the provision of essential services (medical, psychological and legal) free of charge;
Utilize the successful method of the BanFGM Campaign, which led to the adoption of UNGA Resolution 67/146 banning FGM, in other campaigns for the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls and gender equality;
Disseminate the recommendation of the present conference, in particular during the celebration of the next International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM, 6 February 2017, the theme of which is “Establish a solid and interactive link between Africa and the rest of the world in order to accelerate the elimination of FGM by 2030”
Rome, Italy, 31 January 2017