Zero Tolerance to FGM: UNGA resolution banning this human rights violation must be turned into concrete and efficient action

Brussels-Rome, 6 February 2018

Today marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, a day when we reaffirm our strong commitment to bring an end to one of the most serious and wide-scale violation of the rights of women and girls.
Despite the years of awareness campaigns to promote the elimination of FGM, millions of women and girls worldwide are still victims or at risk of FGM, as both a result and a perpetuation of gender inequality and discrimination that denies them the most basic forms of personal autonomy and self-determination.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had taken a first strong stance on this issue on 20 December 2012 by adopting the Resolution 67/146, which was hailed by the Ban FGM campaign, a coalition of African and European NGOs created thanks to the initiative of No Peace Without Justice. In December 2014, the UNGA Resolution 69/150 renewed this commitment, with an increased number of sponsoring countries and strengthened language.

As called for by these breakthrough resolutions, NPWJ and its partners of the BanFGM Campaign have constantly stressed 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, protect its victims and end impunity.
In addition to holding perpetrators to account, legislation protects and provides the legal tools for women and girls willing to defy the social pressures of tradition and reject FGM, and also provides strong and clear legitimacy to the advocacy and educational work of local anti-FGM activists and women’s rights groups.
If the UNGA resolutions can be considered milestones in the fight against FGM, they also just marked the beginning of a new chapter. It is now crucial to ensure that the political commitment expressed at the highest level turn into a concrete, efficient and coordinated action at the national and regional level.
On this important day when we reaffirm our commitment to stamp out FGM, we appeal to all states in which FGM is perpetrated to enact and ensure compliance with legislation that unequivocally prohibits FGM as a criminal offence as well as to support the innumerable human rights groups, women’s associations and individual advocates that fight a daily battle to ensure that the women and girls of tomorrow will be free from the threat of FGM.
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For more information, contact Nicola Giovannini, email: