NPWJ welcomes the entry into force of the legislation banning FGM in Nigeria

3 Jun, 2015 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome, 3 June 2015

The outgoing President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has signed a bill officially banning female genital mutilation (FGM). The law, which was passed by the Senate on 5 May 2015, forms part of The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015.

Although some of Nigeria’s 36 states have already outlawed FGM, this new federal law ushers in a new and very significant phase, answering the decade-long calls from activists fighting to end FGM, and placing Nigeria among the countries leading the way in the implementation of UNGA Resolution 69/150, which urges state “to prohibit FGM and to protect women and girls from this form of violence and to hold perpetrators to account.”

According to 2014 UN data, around twenty million Nigerian women have reportedly been subjected to FGM. With this new law, any person who commits FGM or engages another to commit it will, if convicted, be sentenced to a maximum prison sentence of four years and a fine of £650. A lighter penalty (up to two years of imprisonment and a £325 fine) is provided for whoever attempts to commit the offence or incites aids, abets or counsels another person to commit it.

Statement by Alvilda Jablonko, Gender and Human Rights Program Coordinator 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 female genital mutilation, as an landmark in the long-standing fight undertaken by Nigeria against this violation of the human rights of women and girls.

“We are extremely pleased that Nigeria now has, for the first time, a self-standing law at the federal level that criminalises FGM. We urge the Nigerian Government and local authorities to promptly enact its provisions to stamp out the practice once and for all and to launch a wide-scale awareness campaign to inform communities in areas where this human rights violation persists that it is not only degrading, but also a criminal offence.

“As called for by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 69/150, NPWJ and the NRPTT that the adoption and the enforcement of explicit and effective legislation, backed by sanctions, banning all forms of FGM are fundamental and crucial factors to successfully combat this human rights violation and promote its elimination.

“We appeal to all states in which FGM continues to be perpetrated to enact and ensure compliance with legislation that unequivocally bans FGM as well as to provide strong and clear support for the innumerable human rights groups, women’s associations and individual advocates that fight a daily battle to bring an end to this human rights violation.”


For more information, contact Alvilda Jablonko, Coordinator of the Gender and Human Rights Program, on, phone: +32 494 533 915 or Nicola Giovannini, email:, phone: +32 2 548 39 15.