Female genital mutilation (FGM) is recognised internationally as a gross violation of human rights of girls and women. It is a denial of their physical and mental integrity, their right to freedom from violence and discrimination and in the most extreme cases, of their lives.
Most often in the absence of anesthesia, young girls and women are subjected to procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (WHO).
3 million girls are subjected to genital mutilation every year (UNICEF). This means that over 8000 girls are subjected to this dangerous and potentially life-threatening procedure every day.
FGM is practiced in 28 African countries and in some parts of Asia and Middle East. FGM is now being encountered in Europe and it is challenging existing service delivery, legislation and preventive actions. Hence, it is essential that the European institutions address this issue and protect the human rights of women and girls.
The European Union is founded on the principles of respect for fundamental rights including children’s rights and equality between women and men, all of which are enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. As defender of human rights, as protector and promoter of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European Parliament must fulfill its commitments and play a leading role in this initiative to end FGM in Europe.
END FGM, a campaign led by Amnesty International Ireland is calling on the future members of the European Parliament to build on the work already done and to ensure continuity in the demands and concerns raised by the European Parliament. Therefore it appeals to candidates to the European Parliament to sign this declaration of intent.
If elected I declare my intention to support the following measures:
1. The creation of an intergroup in the European Parliament to deal with the issue of FGM and the European Union.
2. An EU wide study to assess the prevalence of FGM and gather good practices to deal with FGM in the EU.
3. The adoption and implementation of an EU strategy to deal with FGM.
4. Ensure that the strategy is supported by proper funding to civil society, prevention services and service providers working with women affected by FGM and girls at risk.
5. Ensure that FGM is not used as a means to regulate migration or to foster anti-migrant feelings.
The campaign aims to put female genital mutilation (FGM) high on the EU agenda and to echo the voices of women who have undergone FGM and those at risk of being subjected to it.
By lobbying European Union institutions, the campaign is committed to ensuring that the EU adopts a definitive strategy to end FGM and provide protection to women and girls who flee their countries for fear of being mutilated.
Working with partner organisations, the campaign will also play a role in capacity development of the sector through training and fundraising support.
The END FGM campaign is a three-year Europe-wide campaign led by Amnesty International Ireland. It is running in partnership with non-governmental organisations that work directly with national governments in EU member states.
The campaign is committed to ensuring that the European Union adopts a definitive strategy to end female genital mutilation and provide protection to women and girls who flee their countries for fear of being mutilated.
Furthermore, it also works with other European institutions such as the Council of Europe.