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Should states be held responsible to eradicate FGM?

September 8, 2021

An event to mark the International Day of the African Child
Sponsored by
the Legal Vice Presidency and the GFLJD FGM/C Legal Working Group
with the support of the Equality Now and
the National Committee against Harmful Practices of Guinea-Bissau (CNAPN)


Should States be held responsible to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM)? States have the general responsibility to protect citizens against abusive behaviors and violence. FGM is an extreme form of gender-based violence and is at the confluence of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. States can be held responsible and liable for their lack of adequate action in relation to the international or regional obligations they have accepted to protect women and girls in their territory (or outside their territory) against FGM. This BBL explores how states can be held responsible for their lack of national legislation to prevent and prosecute FGM (for instance in the case of Mali who will respond before the ECOWAS Court of Justice for the lack of anti-FGM law) or for not complying fully with the existing legislation (for instance in the case of Guinea-Bissau, where despite important efforts to adopt and apply the anti-FGM law, the state has not budgeted resources for FGM and has not taken the necessary steps for systematically prosecuting cases of FGM).