General Principles
last updated January 2015 
Core elements for legislation on Female Genital Mutilation
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

The following are necessary elements for drafting legislation on FGM.  Each element is discussed in detail below:

  • A national plan and strategy;
  • A legislative preamble that takes a stand against violence against women;
  • A clear and precise definition of FGM;
  • Criminalization of the act of FGM;
  • Criminalization of aiding and abetting the act of FGM;
  • A duty to report for all persons who become aware of the occurrence or the imminent occurrence of FGM;
  • A framework of child protection legislation which is based upon the best interests of the child;
  • A fully developed order for protection for actual or potential victims of FGM;
  • A clear statement of victims’ rights and adequate responses to victims’ needs;
  • A clear statement of the roles and responsibilities of government and community actors; and
  • A clear statement of broader coordinated policies to include a coordinated community response, public education and trainings.