Europe: Protection of girls from FGM via certificate?

Female Genital Mutilation in Germany – an overview
20. August 2010
„Genitalverstümmelung ist internalisiertes Patriarchat“
26. August 2010
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Are "certificates of intactness" given to parents before they take girls to FGM countries a meaningful measure to protect them?

Let’s talk about a phenomene that frequently is  being valuated by organisations and activists as „a good step“ to prevent Female Genital Mutilation in Europe. Quote:

„In Belgium the family planning clinics give parents a certificate to prove that their girls are “ intact“ before they go on holiday to any place where FGM is practised. They keep a record that could be given to the police if later they discover FGM has been done to that child…It’s a good start…scare the parents…

Same procedure in France…

But before you applaud to this „progressive step“ towards the protection of girls – I kindly ask you to think twice:

Let’s talk about a phenomene that frequently is  being valuated by organisations and activists as „a good step“ to prevent Female Genital Mutilation in Europe. Quote:

„In Belgium the family planning clinics give parents a certificate to prove that their girls are “ intact“ before they go on holiday to any place where FGM is practised. They keep a record that could be given to the police if later they discover FGM has been done to that child…It’s a good start…scare the parents…

Same procedure in France…

But before you applaud to this „progressive step“ towards the protection of girls – I kindly ask you to think twice:

Because in fact, it is NOT suited to „scare the parents“, nor to prevent the crime – but it reflects the irresponsible neglect of the French and Belgian government to protect its minor citizens, as

1. it proofs that the governments are well aware of the problem and the high risk of FGM when the girls are brought to an FGM-country, but

2. the they DO NOT take appropriate action to protect the potential victims.

Reason:

1. There is NO obligation for anyone in the country to announce a holiday trip to a family planning center or any other authority.

That means,

2. those parents who intend to mutilate their girls abroad, of course DO NOT go to get such an absurd paper-certificate! Without any problem, they take the girls out of the country and let them mutilate.

3. Those view ones who maybe – more or less by coincidence – are being asked about FGM in such a FPC – and given this paper – and who later take their girls to Africa and let them mutilate- well, do you know what happens then? They just leave the children behind! Once returned back to Belgium/France, they would claim that the girl decided to stay with GrandMa in Africa! And NO ONE can prosecute them for that!

Conclusion:

The Belgian and French government are knowingly discriminating these girls – by being aware that they face a high risk of becoming victim of the serious crime of FGM when taken to an FGM-country- but refuse to protect them!

It lays in the nature of the FGM systematics that there’s only ONE protection-measure that could really hinder the perpetrators to mutilate their daughters during a „holiday-trip“: The strict prohibition to take ANY girl to a country of origin where FGM is common!

Germany is by the way the only country in Europe which at least in a very view cases has been taken this measure, confirmed by the highest supreme court, see http://www.taskforcefgm.de/2010/08/english-female-genital-mutilation-in-germany-an-overview/

Because in fact, it is NOT suited to „scare the parents“, nor to prevent the crime – but it reflects the irresponsible neglect of the French and Belgian government to protect its minor citizens, as

1. it proofs that the governments are well aware of the problem and the high risk of FGM when the girls are brought to an FGM-country, but

2. the they DO NOT take appropriate action to protect the potential victims.

Reason:

1. There is NO obligation for anyone in the country to announce a holiday trip to a family planning center or any other authority.

That means,

2. those parents who intend to mutilate their girls abroad, of course DO NOT go to get such an absurd paper-certificate! Without any problem, they take the girls out of the country and let them mutilate.

3. Those view ones who maybe – more or less by coincidence – are being asked about FGM in such a FPC – and given this paper – and who later take their girls to Africa and let them mutilate- well, do you know what happens then? They just leave the children behind! Once returned back to Belgium/France, they would claim that the girl decided to stay with GrandMa in Africa! And NO ONE can prosecute them for that!

Conclusion:

The Belgian and French government are knowingly discriminating these girls – by being aware that they face a high risk of becoming victim of the serious crime of FGM when taken to an FGM-country- but refuse to protect them!

It lays in the nature of the FGM systematics that there’s only ONE protection-measure that could really hinder the perpetrators to mutilate their daughters during a „holiday-trip“: The strict prohibition to take ANY girl to a country of origin where FGM is common!

Germany is by the way the only country in Europe which at least in a very view cases has been taken this measure, confirmed by the highest supreme court, see http://www.taskforcefgm.de/2010/08/english-female-genital-mutilation-in-germany-an-overview/

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