Drafting the legislative preamble for a law against FGM

The legislative preamble sets the stage for the entire piece of legislation. The following elements are important to a strong and inclusive legislative preamble:

  • A statement that legislation should be comprehensive and criminalize all forms of violence against women.  (See: UN Handbook, 3.1.2.)

“All women, regardless of class, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, culture, educational level, age and religion, enjoy the basic rights inherent to the human person, and are ensured the opportunities and facilities to live without violence, preserve their physical and mental health and their moral, intellectual and social improvement.” (Article 2)

  • A statement that all forms of FGM are forms of violence against women and girls.
  • A statement that FGM is a form of child abuse.
  • A statement that no customary or religious justifications shall be considered to justify FGM in any form. (See: UN Handbook 3.1.5; Convention on the Rights of the Child)
  • A statement that the state has the duty to prevent FGM, to investigate and prosecute cases of FGM, to investigate cases of imminent FGM, to protect potential victims, to punish perpetrators of FGM, and to give support to survivors of FGM.

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