The European Commission today declared today the International Day of Zero Tolerance against Female Genital Mutilation and says "Just one victim is too many!"
On 25 Nov 2013, the European Commission published a video declaring zero FGM tolerance in the Euro area and estimated that as many as 500,000 victims of the babaric practice exists in the EU alone while more than 125 million are thought to exist worldwide.
The EC regards Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as a practice "internationally recognised as a violation of women's human rights and as a form of child abuse."
In the video clip, three women Ifrah Ahmed, Khady Koita and Naana Otoo-Yortey who are actively engaged in the fight against FGM explained why they committed to the fight and how the EU can support it.
The European Commission is fighting FGM by making full use of future EU funding to help prevent it and improve support for victims.
It is also working to support health practitioners, assist national enforcement of anti-FGM laws and even improve protection under EU asylum rules for women at risk.
In a video message today, the EU's Justice Commissioner and Vice-President, Viviane Reding said “The EU will fight to end female genital mutilation – not only on International Day of Zero Tolerance, but on all 365 days of the year," adding "we cannot do it alone. We need to work with Member States, the UN, NGOs and with the communitites affected."
Expressing her appreciation of the EU's position, she said, "Today, I welcome the European Parliament’s strong vote in support of the EU-wide fight against female genital mutilation. I hope the EU’s national governments in the Council will now join the Parliament in backing the Commission’s initiative and working together to eliminate this inhumane practice."
The EU's five-point plan for combating FGM, include:
1) Better understanding of the phenomenon of FGM.
2) Prevention of FGM and victim support.
3) More effective prosecution by Member States.
4) Protection of women at risk on EU territory and
5) Working to eliminate FGM at global level.
The Justice Commissioner urged EU member states to "Let's work together to consign female genital mutilation to history.”
"The Commission is all continuing to raise awareness about the practice of female genital mutilation through its 'Zero Tolerance' campaign", the European Commission said in a press release.
The public is invited to "join the campaign by emailing your photo to COMM-SOCIAL-MEDIA-TEAM@ec.europa.eu or tweet using the hashtag #ZeroFGM."
"Just one victim of the babaric practice, is one too many", Reding said.
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