UN resolution on female genital mutilation (FGM) welcomed
The adoption yesterday of a resolution against female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee is a major boost to civil society organisations fighting for an end to the abusive practice, Amnesty International has said.
This is the first time the Assembly’s Third Committee, which addresses social, humanitarian and human rights issues, has adopted a resolution on FGM - the cutting of a girl’s genitalia clitoris often without anaesthetic in conditions that risk potentially fatal infection.
The resolution is expected to be endorsed by the UN’s General Assembly in December. Although not legally binding, UN General Assembly resolutions carry considerable moral and political weight.
FGM is common in 28 countries in Africa as well as in Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and in certain ethnic groups in South America. However it is an issue of worldwide concern, said Amnesty, with Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls in diaspora communities also at risk of being subjected to FGM.
Amnesty see the UN resolution as a reminder to governments that they need to develop national action plans, beyond laws, and ensure that they are well-resourced and monitored, in order to raise awareness. The resolution makes clear too that this is something that must involve all those affected - including men and boys - if we are to finally end this practice.
Amnesty International UN representative in New York José Luis Díaz said:
“FGM is an indictment of us all - that a girl or young woman can be held down and mutilated is a violation of her human rights and - shockingly - an estimated three million girls are at risk each year.
“Vitally, this UN resolution places FGM in a human rights framework and calls for a holistic approach, stressing as it does the importance of empowerment of Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive health and breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence.
“It is important to highlight that FGM is a gender-based and child-specific persecution and the UNHCR - the UN refugee agency - has established that a girl or woman seeking asylum because she has been compelled to undergo, or is likely to be subjected to FGM, can qualify for refugee status.”
The UN resolution makes concrete recommendations for prevention of FGM, for protecting girls at risk, ending impunity and for the provision of support services to those suffering from the lifelong consequences of mutilation. Amnesty is urging governments to implement these recommendations urgently.
Note for editors:
The END FGM European Campaign has issued recommendations to the European Union on concrete steps that should be taken to end FGM: