Legislation should require that law enforcement and other state officials such as child protection, migration officials, and the health sector develop protocols to ensure coordination among these authorities with the aim of protecting girls who may travel to a country for purposes of FGM, to facilitate the provision of evidence for extraterritorial prosecutions, and to ensure that no cases go unreported. (See: Leye-Sabbe Expert paper, p. 11)
Promising Practice: END FGM – European Campaign
Europe’s END FGM campaign is an example of regional cooperation. The campaign, led by Amnesty International Ireland, works in partnership with twelve organizations in EU Member States and, using a human rights-based approach, advocates that the elimination of FGM be made a high priority. The twelve campaign partners have expertise in the issue of FGM and work directly with women and girls affected by FGM, communities that practice FGM, and religious leaders. They also lobby their national governments to take steps towards the elimination of FGM. The END FGM campaign identifies gaps in the existing EU approach to FGM and opportunities for further cooperation, and recommends specific measures to be taken by EU institutions. For example, the campaign urges EU institutions to “encourage Europol… to, in accordance with the 2009 European Parliament resolution on FGM, ‘coordinate a meeting of European police forces with a view to intensify the measures to combat FGM, tackling the issues related to the low reporting rate and the difficulty of finding evidence and testimonies, and taking effective steps to prosecute offenders’…” The campaign thus ensures that the anti-FGM efforts of various EU bodies and Member States are coherent and coordinated in their approach.
See: End FGM European Campaign and Amnesty International, Ending Female Genital Mutilation: A Strategy for the European Union Institutions (2010). Available in English and French.
Partnership with International Organizations
Legislation should require the state to partner with major agencies which enforce human rights and gender equality and health and children’s rights, such as the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and the European Institute for Gender Equality and the WHO.