15 February 2018

European Parliament says it has zero tolerance for female genital mutilation

On the 7th of February, the European Parliament highlighted the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and adopted a resolution calling the European Commission and the EU Member States to ensure FGM prevention measures in all policy areas.

Rapporteur Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D, LT) stated ‘‘FGM is an issue of global repercussions and the EU has an important role to play in combatting this harmful practice. We recognise the positive steps undertaken so far and commend civil society for its tireless work, but the efforts can be better harmonised. It is also crucial that this issue is tackled by all sectors - from health to social work, asylum, education including sex education, law enforcement, justice, child protection, and media and communication - at both national and EU level.’’

In addition, the EP called for cross-sector cooperation and building bridges between organisations working with communities as well as strong preventive action in refugee camps. The provision of trainings for those responsible for detecting, investigating and prosecuting cases of FMG were described as especially needed.

It was also stressed that the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by all the member states is critical to end violence against women and girls as well as FGM, and to ensure that the EU’s commitments complies with international standards, including the 2030 Agenda’s call for an end to FGM by 2030.

From a global perspective, 200 million girls and women have been affected by FGM, mainly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.Furthermore, 180,000 girls and women in Europe are estimated to be at risk of FGM every year and at least 500,000 women living in the EU have been subjected to FGM.

Read the full resolution adopted by the European Parliament here.