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Overview

  • Legislation should ensure that there are child welfare laws and policies to prevent child abuse.
  • Legislation should identify FGM as a form of child abuse.
  • Legislation should mandate that FGM prevention and prosecution are given the same resources as other forms of child abuse. 
  • Legislation should create a child protection system that contains, at a minimum, survivor support, alternative care options, family support services, justice system responses (see order for protection section below) and referral mechanisms. (See: UNICEF Child Protection Strategy for all the components necessary to establish a child protection system; and Child Protection: A handbook for Parliamentarians)
  • Legislation should create child protection protocols for each sector that comes in contact with abuse in the form of FGM, including social services, police and the judicial system. Such protocols can help in creating dialogue about FGM, assessing the level of risk to a child, and in ensuring consistent and appropriate referrals to various services based on the particular circumstances.  

For example, the European Parliament resolution of 24 March 2009 on combating female genital mutilation in the EU (2008/2071(INI), Paras. 28 and 29, state:

The European Parliament:

Calls on the member states to . . . adopt legislative measures to allow judges or public prosecutors to take precautionary and preventive measures if they are aware of cases of women or girls at risk of being mutilated;

Calls on the Member States to implement a preventive strategy of social action aimed at protecting minors without stigmatizing immigrant communities, through public programmes and social services aimed at both preventing these practices (training, education and awareness-raising among the communities at risk) and assisting the victims who have been subjected to them (psychological and medical support including, where possible, free medical treatment to repair the damage); calls also on the Member States to consider, in accordance with child protection legislation, that the threat or risk of being subjected to FGM may justify intervention by the authorities [.]