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

Police protocols

Last edited: February 25, 2011

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  • Legislation should require the development of police protocols that are centered upon survivor safety and respectful investigation of FGM. 
  • Legislation should state that police must develop protocols for youth and survivor interviews, and for immediate medical testing, in order that the survivor may be questioned and examined in a respectful and timely manner, and at an age/developmentally appropriate level, for successful evidence use at trial.
  • Legislation should require that police coordinate with prosecutors, survivor support groups and social services, including child protection agencies.
  • Legislation should require that police receive training on a regular basis on the latest information about female genital mutilation and the most respectful methods of handling FGM survivors.
  • Legislation should provide that law enforcement professionals who do not pursue cases of FGM shall be penalized.

Promising Practice: Section 8(b) of the Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, states: 

Member States are urged, within the framework of their national legal systems . . . [t]o develop investigative techniques that do not degrade women subjected to violence and minimize intrusion, while maintaining standards for the collection of the best evidence[.]

  • Specialized investigative units and procedures and multidisciplinary teams of police and social workers are some of the tools police can utilize to ensure that victims are not further traumatized as a result of the investigation. Sensitive and personal questions should be handled only by investigators who have been thoroughly trained on FGM issues. These areas where interviews and physical examinations of FGM victims are conducted should be comfortable and private.

CASE STUDY – United Kingdom – Summer Holidays are for Fun not Pain Campaign

In 2007, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) developed and implemented Project Azure to safeguard children and raise awareness about FGM, particularly in relation to the health implications for the girl and the legal implications for anyone assisting in the procedure. One of the Project’s main goals is to tackle the prevalence of FGM during the summer holidays. During this period, families that practice FGM often take girls under their care abroad to perform the procedure or conduct the procedure at home, utilizing the holiday period as recovery time. The campaign “Summer Holidays are for Fun not Pain,” implemented by MPS in conjunction with the London Children’s Safeguarding Board (LSCB), the British Medical Association (BMA), Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development (FORWARD), Africans United against Child Abuse, (AFRUCA) and the Agency for Culture and Change Management (ACCM), aims to inform the public of the practice and appeals to families and caregivers to protect and prevent children from undergoing FGM. (See: Metropolitan Police Female Genital Mutilation Prevention Campaign and Metropolitan Police website on FGM)

See also: Public Education Section below.