The Committee of Ministers today called on member states to step up efforts to prevent and combat female genital mutilation and forced marriage across Europe, as it adopted a guide on good practices.
Female genital mutilation and forced marriage violate fundamental rights enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. “Such violations can under no circumstances be justified on grounds of respect for cultural traditions, customs or religious beliefs,” the Committee said in its declaration.
The Committee is encouraging governments to adopt legislation and policies which support women, girls and concerned communities to put an end to such harmful practices, improve the reporting of cases, promote prevention and protection measures for victims and provide for effective sanctions.
Member states are also invited to join and implement relevant Council of Europe and United Nations legal instruments, to co-operate and ensure that female genital mutilation and forced marriage are recognised as grounds for international protection.
- Committee of Ministers’ declaration
- Guide to good and promising practices aimed at preventing and combating female genital mutilation and forced marriage
- Related texts: Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CETS n° 210), Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS n° 201), Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS n° 197)