Free from Fear, Free from Pain : Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation in Europe

Publié le 21 décembre 2015 par Equipe GIS IdG

Free from Fear, Free from Pain : Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation in Europe

  • Date : Wednesday 27th January 2016
  • Time : 10:00am — 4:30pm
  • Venue : NH Brussels Carrefour de l’Europe

UNICEF estimates that more than 125 million girls and women around the world have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), a practice which consists in the partial or total removal of female genitalia for nonmedical purposes. FMG may lead to a variety of health consequences, including severe pain, shock, infection, complications during childbirth, as well as long-term gynecological problems. The practice of FGM is originally common in numerous African countries, as well as in parts of Asia and the Middle East. In these communities, FGM defines cultural identities and gender-roles, as the practice is thought to enhance the girl’s femininity, often synonymous with docility and obedience.

During recent years, FGM has gained considerable attention in the EU, with the European Parliament estimating that 500,000 girls and women living in Europe have been subjected to FGM while 180,000 are at risk every year. As fighting gender-based violence and violence against children are core values of the EU, FGM has been recognised as a practice which violates human rights and attacks the dignity, equality and integrity of girls and women.

The Istanbul Convention, also known as the Council of Europe Convention, appears as the first European Treaty specifically devoted to specifically addressing violence against women, including female genital mutilation. Set in 2014, the Istanbul Convention obliges States Parties to accelerate preventive measures to protect and support FGM affected women and girls, and these obligations comprise areas such as health, education, social service, immigration and child protection in order to identify, protect and help the victims of FGM. Providing good quality services and multidisciplinary cooperation based on sound knowledge of FGM, as well as the importance of engaging stakeholders, health professionals and members of civil society is essential in order to successfully eradicate the phenomenon.

This timely symposium provides an invaluable opportunity to gain an understanding of the current EU legal framework and what more needs to be done to eradicate FGM. The symposium will examine how a multi-sector approach can be strengthened, and explore issues around prevention, the importance of specialist services and the greater role of health and education providers in ensuring better awareness and early intervention.

Delegates will :

  • Understand the current policy and legal framework for eradicating all forms of female genital mutilation in Europe
  • Explore ways to fight FGM through better education and awareness raising campaigns
  • Discuss strategies to improve the support chain of FGM victims through specialised services and multi-sector cooperation
  • Examine ways to increase capacity building across sectors to fight FGM

09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair’s Welcome and Opening Remarks

The European Policy and Legislative Framework to Combat Female Genital Mutilation

  • European Efforts to combat Female Genital Mutilation : Effectiveness, Current Challenges and Future Ambitions of the Istanbul Convention
  • Understanding the Legal Procedure on the Prosecution of the Acts of Female Genital Mutilation in Europe
  • Current Tools to Harmonise the Systematic Data Collection on FGM across- Europe

10:40 First Round of Discussions
11:10 Morning Coffee Break

Combating FGM through a Better Informed and Educated Society

  • Analysing the Different Cultural and Religious Causes of FGM
  • The Role of Men on the Eradication of FGM
  • Supporting Young Individuals in Accessing Information, Advice and Protection in School Settings
  • The Role of Education in Changing Mind-Sets on Gender-Roles and Stereotypes

12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12:30 Networking Lunch

Providing Accessible and Appropriate Support Services for Victims in Europe

  • Addressing FGM in host communities : Increasing Capacity Building and Information for Healthcare Professionals
  • Preventing the Practice of FGM and Identifying Victims : Raising Awareness Among Social Workers and Teachers
  • The Role of NGO’s and Civil Society in Promoting Raising-Awareness Campaigns on FGM realities

14:00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break

Addressing Persisting Challenges and Sharing Best Practice

  • Female Genital Mutilation : A Case for Asylum in Europe - Towards Greater Security and more Dedicated Responses
  • Assisting Victims or Witnesses in Reporting to National Authorities and Improving Conviction Rates
  • Strengthening the Child Protection System : Example of Good Practice at National Level
  • Promoting Multilevel Partnerships : Strengthening Cooperation with Countries where FGM is Prevalent

15:15 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:45 Chair’s Summary and Closing Remarks
16:00 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16:30 Symposium Close