European Commission takes action to combat Female Genital Mutilation
On the occasion of the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, the European Commission today announced, in a strategy paper, a new step to fight female genital mutilation (FGM) in the European Union and beyond. The practice, internationally recognised as a violation of women’s human rights and as a form of child abuse, is thought to have affected 500,000 victims in the EU alone, and more than 125 million worldwide. To fight FGM, the Commission will make full use of future EU funding to help prevent the practice; improve support for victims; support health practitioners, as well as national enforcement of anti-FGM laws; and improve protection under EU asylum rules for women at risk. The Commission and the European External Action Service have also committed to promoting worldwide elimination of FGM through bilateral and multilateral dialogue. Finally, the Commission will encourage more research into the number of women and girls at risk.
Today’s action plan is a follow-up to the public consultation on FGM launched by the Commisison in March 2013.