FGM / No Peace Without Justice: the anti-FGM front at the United Nations grows bigger

26 Nov, 2014 | Press Releases

Roma – Bruxelles – New York, 26 novembre 2014

No Peace without Justice and the Radical Party welcome the decision made by the UN Third Committee on Social, Cultural and Humanitarian affairs (SOCHUM), to unanimously adopt, with 125 co-sponsorships, a Resolution to universally ban female genital mutilations (FGM).

The UN General Assembly had first expressed itself against this traditional practice on 20 December 2012, after the long BanFGM campaign led by a coalition of African and European NGOs, created thanks to the initiative of No Peace Without Justice.

The encouraging data is that there is an increasing number of countries promoting the Resolution: 21 more than in 2012. This is not only an acknowledgement for female activists working on the field, but also the sign of a growing consensus coming from the States, willing to engage themselves at the global level to politically implement the content of the Resolution, which condemns FGM as a violation of the rights of women and young girls.

Normative tools and effective implementation, together with correct training and prevention, are also pivotal factors. We wish that this further stance on the matter from the international community will be an incentive for both the states lacking legislation and for those already engaged in ad-hoc measures.

Among the latter, a present-day example is Egypt.  The current situation within the State is most worrying, especially considering the role it had in the campaign against FGM, in addition to the fact that it has one of the most advanced laws on the matter. The case of Suhair al-Bataa, the 13 year old girl who died in June 2013 after undergoing FGM, is disconcerting. It was followed by the first ever lawsuit in Egypt relating to this kind of crime. The Court resolved to acquit the doctor, who had carried out the operation and the girl’s father, who initially decided for the procedure to take place. This decision represents a serious danger for the law to lose its deterrent function, which represents the basis for a real policy aimed at respecting every person.
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For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the FGM Program, on ajablonko@npwj.org / +32 494 533 915 or Sabrina Gasparrini, on sgasparrini@npwj.org / +39 06.68979262 or Nicola Giovannini, on ngiovannini@npwj.org /+32 (0)2 548-39 15.