Amnesty International Issues Strategic Recommendations for Europe for END FGM Campaign
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 1:30 PM

Amnesty International has called on European leaders to support the strategies and recommendations proposed by its END FGM European Campaign in order to protect young girls and women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM).

Throughout February and March, the campaign will launch a strategy with tangible recommendations for the European Union Member States and EU Institutions in five cities: Lisbon, Vienna, Nicosia, Brussels, and London.

“Political commitments from the European Parliament and Commissioners-Designate Viviane Reding and Cecilia Malmström are encouraging. However, it is now time for concrete actions at both national and European levels,” said Campaign Director of END FGM European Campaign Dr. Christine Loudes (END FGM).

As outlined in the strategy, there are five key dimensions through which the EU can protect women and girls living with, or at risk of, FGM:

1. Collection of data on prevalence of FGM in Europe in order to measure changes in behavior and attitudes toward FGM, substantiate the need for funds, and assess the impact of policies regarding FGM. Qualitative data is also needed to understand whether the beliefs underlying the practice in the EU differ from those in the country of origin.

2. Accessible and appropriate healthcare for women living with FGM in Europe. While the provision of healthcare is a domestic obligation of the Member States, the EU can facilitate the dissemination of best practices and initiate the development of health protocols.

3. Better protection mechanisms to address violence against women and children. While most EU Member States have legislation prohibiting FGM, effective implementation of such laws is hindered by the lack of knowledge and attitudes in communities faced with FGM. EU level cooperation among Member State judiciaries, police, social services, health services, and school administrations is needed to improve protection efforts.

4. Clear asylum guidelines for those under threat of FGM. The EU should ensure that its common approach adheres to international standards and takes into account the rights and needs of those seeking asylum on the grounds of FGM as established by UNHCR principles.

5. Incorporation of FGM in EU’s dialogues on cooperation with third countries where FGM is prevalent. The EU should actively promote the elimination of FGM and build networks with African stakeholders in development cooperation.

The full strategy “End FGM: A Strategy for the European Union Institutions” can be found here.

Compiled from:Amnesty International Campaign Launches Strategy for Europe to END FGM,” END FGM (5 February 2010).