Civil Lawsuits

last updated January 2015 

In partnership with UN Women, The Advocates for Human Rights created the following sections for UN Women's Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls. This section, along with sections addressing other forms of violence against women and girls, may be found under Legislation at

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.