Successful Conclusion of the International Conference on Female Genital Mutilation in the EU organized at the European Parliament

17 Apr, 2009 | NPWJ in the News

The International Conference on the Prevention of Female Genital Mutilation in the EU, organized by the European Network for the Prevention of Female Genital Mutilation (EuroNet-FGM), with support from the European Commission Daphne Initiative and the Belgian International Cooperation (DGOS), and with the collaboration of No Peace Without Justice and the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party, came to a successful conclusion on 17 April. The three-day Conference was held in the European Parliament, under the patronage of Ms Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, vice-president of the European Parliament, Belgian Socialist MEP Ms Anne Van Lancker and Italian Radical MEP Mr Marco Cappato.

The Conference was opened by Ms Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, and Ms Emma Bonino, Vice-President of the Italian Senate and brought together key international figures, ministers, parliamentarians and civil society activists from Europe, Africa, and North America who have played a key role in the battle for the eradication of FGM in recent years.

The meeting was an opportunity for European policy-makers to further commit themselves to the elimination of FGM. It also was a moment for exchange, for partner organizations to present and discuss EuroNet’s two-year project aimed at developing National Action Plans on FGM in 15 EU countries, and to consolidate the commitments and most successful initiatives undertaken within this framework. The last day of the conference was dedicated to the internal work of EuroNet, and elections were held for a new board, to replace the outgoing members.

In a resolution adopted on 24 March 2009, the European Parliament has reaffirmed its strong condemnation of FGM as a violation of the human rights of women and girls and forcefully called for a ban on this practice in the European Union, rejecting any form of medicalisation “that would only serve to justify and to provide latent acceptance for the practice” within the EU and urging the implementation of a comprehensive strategy and action plans to enable current and potential victims to obtain effective protection.

No Peace Without Justice and the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party consider legal instruments to be of fundamental importance in the struggle against the practice of FGM and are appealing to the European Union and its Member States to adopt and enforce effective legislation to treat all forms of FGM as criminal offences. The EU and Member States should also take steps to strengthen their support for the women engaged in the daily struggle to challenge and eradicate this harmful practice, and to ensure that their human rights are respected.

For more information please contact: Nicola Giovannini, NPWJ Press Officer (email: – phone: + 32 2 548 39 14 – fax: +32-2-511 8100).