European countries are expected to join the UN call for intensified efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM), a human rights violation which affects 8,000 girls daily. The resolution to be adopted at the General Assembly tomorrow is the first of its kind, and is an important step in global efforts to tackle this human rights issue.
“The resolution is a reminder to governments to develop a long-term vision, which requires national action plans to effectively end FGM and protect women and girls suffering from the life-long physical and psychological consequences of this harmful practice”, said Dr Christine Loudes, Director of Amnesty International’s END FGM European Campaign.
According to the European Institute of Gender Equality, eight EU countries have national action plans that deal exclusively with FGM: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Sweden. Eleven EU countries address FGM under national action plans on violence against women and/or gender equality. However, not all national action plans are supported by government action or resources nor has their impact been assessed. Most action plans have not been renewed owing to the lack of government support.
Women and girls under threat or subjected to FGM have the grounds to seek asylum, but this right is not granted in all EU countries. Europe’s asylum laws, which are being revised, must ensure that this threat is recognised not only in law but in practice. Also, reception centres should offer necessary support services to the women and girls affected.
“By joining the international community in adopting the resolution on FGM, the EU is showing its resolve. This should be translated into action at European and national level. We also expect continued international cooperation particularly at the forthcoming UN Commission on the Status of Women in March 2013,” said Dr Loudes.
Source: Amnesty International