No Peace Without Justice: “From the European Parliament a strong appeal to outlaw Female Genital Mutilation as a violation of human rights”

24 Mar, 2009 | Press Releases

Statement by Sergio Stanzani and Niccoló Figa-Talamanca, President and Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice:

The European Parliament today adopted by a large majority the report of MEP Cristiana Muscardini (UEN) on female genital mutilation (FGM), reaffirming its strong condemnation of FGM as a violation of the human rights of women and girls. The European Parliament forcefully calls 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 are pleased that, with this vote, the Parliament urges the European Union and Member States to regard all forms of FGM as criminal offences and, either through the adoption of specific laws on FGM or with existing legislation, to pursue, prosecute and punish any resident who has committed the crime of FGM, even if the offence was committed outside their borders.

No Peace Without Justice, which has for years conducted campaigns, largely in Africa, aimed at the eradication of FGM, considers legal instruments to be of fundamental importance in the struggle against the practice. Given heartening progress in this regard in recent years, with the adoption of laws prohibiting FGM and wide-ranging information campaigns aimed at prevention, the European Union must strengthen its support for all the women who struggle daily to challenge and eradicate this harmful practice and to gain respect for their human rights.

Today’s vote in Strasbourg sends an important message to these women: female genital mutilation will no longer be excused under the guise of “culture” or “tradition”, but must be explicitly approached as a violation of human rights. If current high levels of mobilisation and political pressure can be maintained and effect the consolidation and transformation of commitments and best practices undertaken at national and regional levels into a stable and coherent policy strategy shared by all countries affected by FGM, we will then be in the position to banish this practice once and for all. ”

For further information, contact Nicola Giovannini on org +32-2-548-3913. Check also