On April 1, 2010 the instruments signifying the assent of President Yoweri Museveni to the bill banning the practice of female genital mutilation were delivered to Hon. Chis Baryomunsi, the author of the bill, which was adopted on 10 December 2009 by the National Assembly of the Republic of Uganda.

Statement by Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program of No Peace Without Justice:
No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) welcome the entry into force of a law banning the practice of female genital mutilation, as an landmark in the long-standing fight undertaken by Uganda against this harmful practice which violates the human rights of women and girls.

We are pleased that Uganda now has, for the first time, a self-standing law that provides for criminalising the practice, prosecution of offenders and protection of victims. According to the Bill, a person found guilty of aggravated female genital mutilation will be liable to life imprisonment. The Bill further provides that people who participate or aid the process shall be jailed for up to five years.

Now that the law has come into force, the Government and local authorities should promptly enact its provisions and launch a wide-scale awareness and education campaign to sensitize the communities in the areas affected that female circumcision is not only degrading, but also criminal and use its provisions to stamp out the practice once and for all.

The entry into force of an effective national legislation banning FGM represents an important step towards the full-fledged involvement of Uganda in the fight against FGM, also at the Regional and International level, as it demonstrates political will and push for concrete steps to bring an end to FGM.

We urge Uganda to take a leading and active role in the drafting and advocacy for a United Nations General Assembly Resolution that specifically and exclusively focuses on FGM. Such a UN resolution will help to create the foundations of a real and strong international alliance to defeat FGM once and for all”.

No Peace Without Justice has conducted campaigns aimed at the eradication of FGM for several years, largely in Africa. NPWJ considers that a vital component of efforts to accelerate elimination of FGM is the enactment and implementation of effective national legislation, which is essential in the consolidation of an explicit commitment of public authorities against FGM. NPWJ urges all African governments to enact, review and implement laws and policies to protect the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls, in accordance with the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which in article 5 explicitly calls for the legal prohibition of FGM.
For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program, on ajablonko@npwj.org or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32 (0)2 548-3915. Check also our website: www.npwj.org