Legislation

Throughout this knowledge module, reference to certain provisions or sections of a piece of legislation, part of a legal judgment, or aspect of a practice does not imply that the legislation, judgment, or practice is considered in its entirety to be a good example or a promising practice.

Some of the laws cited herein may contain provisions which authorize the death penalty. In light of the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 62/14963/16865/206, and 67/176 calling for a moratorium on and ultimate abolition of capital punishment, the death penalty should not be included in sentencing provisions for crimes of violence against women and girls.

Other Provisions Related to Domestic Violence LawsResources for Developing Legislation on Domestic Violence
Sexual Harassment in Sport Tools for Drafting Sexual Harassment Laws and Policies
Immigration Provisions Resources for developing legislation on sex trafficking of women and girls
Child Protection Provisions Resources on Forced and Child Marriage
Other provisions related to dowry-related and domestic violence laws
Related Tools

Civil lawsuits

Last edited: February 25, 2011

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Legislation should allow civil lawsuits against perpetrators of FGM. Any requirements that do not allow girls or their parent or guardian, or women to bring civil lawsuits against a family member who is a perpetrator, or that require the consent of a husband or other family member in order to bring a civil lawsuit, should be abolished. (See: UN Handbook 3.12.1)

Legislation should allow survivors/complainants to bring civil lawsuits against governmental or non-governmental parties for not exercising due diligence to prevent, investigate or punish female genital mutilation. Legislation should allow survivors/ complainants to bring civil lawsuits on the basis of anti-discrimination laws, human rights provisions, or civil rights laws.  (See: UN Handbook 3.12.2)

Legislation should allow for a third party to pursue an action on behalf of a minor child with court permission or appointment of a guardian ad litem.  Protocols should be in place to ensure any award the child receives is protected and used on her behalf. 

Legislation should allow a victim to pursue an action, on her own behalf, after she reaches the age of majority.