Criminalization of Aiding and Abetting
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 www.endvawnow.org.

 

 
Legislation should provide that accomplices in the act of FGM shall be punished in the same manner as the practitioner of FGM. Legislation should define “accomplice” in the statute, and include in this definition those who bring a girl or woman to the practitioner as well as those who request the procedure, assist, advise, or procure support for anybody to carry out the procedure. Legislation should clearly state, however, that a victim herself cannot be identified as an accomplice. (See Punishment of Parents and Family Members section above). 
 
 
Illustrative Examples:

A person who aids, abets, counsels or procures -
(a) a person to commit an offence under section I; or
(b) another person to perform female genital mutilation on that other person,commits an offence.
 
6.  A person who knowingly allows any premises, for which that person is in control of, or responsible for, to be used for purposes of performing female genital mutilation commits an offence.
7.  A person who is found in possession of a tool or equipment for a purpose connected with the performance of female genital mutilation commits an offence
 
 
  • The Republic of Benin - Law No. 2003-3 on Repression of the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Article 7:  
    Any person who has helped, assisted, or requested the services of an FGM practitioner, or given him/her instructions or the means to perform a genital mutilation, will be considered an accomplice and is liable to the same sentence as the main perpetrator of the act.   

  • United Kingdom: Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, Sec. 2:
    A person is guilty of an offence if he aids, abets, counsels or procures a girl to excise, infibulate or otherwise mutilate the whole or any part of her own labia majora, labia minora or clitoris.

  • European Parliament Resolution on female genital mutilation (2001/2035(INI)), Para. AA, 11:
    The European Parliament . . . [c]alls on the Member States . . . to regard any form of female genital mutilation as a specific crime, irrespective of whether or not the woman concerned has given any form of consent, and to punish anybody who helps, encourages, advises or procures support for anybody to carry out any of these acts on the body of a woman or girl.

  • The European Parliament resolution of 24 March 2009 on combating female genital mutilation in the EU (2008/2071(INI)), Para 28 calls on the Member states to:
    • regard any form of FGM as a crime, irrespective of whether or not the woman concerned has given any form of consent, and to punish anybody who helps, encourages, advises or procures support for anybody to carry out any of these acts on the body of a woman or girl
    • pursue, prosecute and punish any resident who has committed the crime of FGM, even if the offence was committed outside their borders (extraterritoriality),
    • adopt legislative measures to allow judges or public prosecutors to take precautionary and preventative measures if they are aware of cases of women or girls at risk of being mutilated; . . .
 
  • Penal Code of Senegal (27.02.1999), Art. 299 bis:
    …The same penalties shall apply to any person who, through gifts, promises, influence, threat, intimidation, abuse of authority or power, caused such genital mutilations to happen or instructs others to practise them….