International African Child’s Day: NPWJ calls for widespread support for a worldwide ban on female genital mutilation

16 Jun, 2011 | NPWJ in the News

On this 21st anniversary of the International Day of the African Child, No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) call upon all African governments and regional organizations to demonstrate their commitment to human rights and particularly the rights of women and girls by supporting and promoting the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) of a Resolution to ban female genital mutilation (FGM) worldwide.

Each year, in Africa and worldwide, millions of girls are subjected to this harmful and traumatic practice which as recognized by international law constitutes a blatant violation of their fundamental right to physical integrity. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child call on States Parties to eliminate harmful traditional practices. In its Article 5, the African Union Protocol to the Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women explicitly calls on member States to prohibit and condemn FGM through the enactment of laws that aim at the elimination of the practice, and 19 out of the 28 African countries where it is practiced have adopted a national law to prohibit FGM. Despite the advances, including decades-long community-level outreach campaigns, FGM is still tolerated in many countries of the continent on religious or cultural pretexts and many children continue to suffer as result of the perception of FGM as a social obligation.

NPWJ and the NRPTT, as part of the International Coalition for the adoption of a Resolution by the UNGA to explicitly ban FGM, work together with human rights activists, women’s organizations, parliamentarians and government representatives from throughout Africa and Europe. A UNGA Resolution would bring attention to FGM as a human rights violation, and provide an important tool to combat it. A worldwide ban would also ensure the harmonization of legal tools and mechanisms against FGM not only in Africa but also in all countries affected by the practice.

Therefore, we appeal to all states, and to all regional and international organizations, to take an unequivocal and joint stance in favor of the adoption of a UN Resolution banning FGM worldwide in order to acknowledge the courage of the women and girls who have said no to FGM and help give confidence and the means to those who want to say no but have lacked the support to do so.

For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program, on or Nicola Giovannini on or +32 (0)2 548-3915.