Kenya: Protect girls from FGM - enforce your laws
In 2011 Kenya passed a law that prohibits Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and imposes tough penalties on perpetrators and those abetting the practice. The law not only bans the practice in Kenya but also prohibits cross-border FGM and bars medical care givers from carrying out the practice. In addition, the law holds that consent cannot be cited as an excuse for conducting FGM.
Since this legislation was passed the Country has witnessed a decline in the number of girls who are cut, with law enforcers and other duty bearers working to end this practice. Kenya’s FGM prevalence currently stands at 21 percent having declined from 27 percent in 2008.
However, much more remains to be done.
Kenya is witnessing a growing trend in cross-border FGM where girls and women are taken to Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Somalia for the cut, as perpetrators attempt to circumvent the laws and systems that have been put in place to end FGM. This is a worrying trend as enforcement of the law on Kenya’s borders remains a challenge.
At Equality Now, we are calling on Kenya to work closely with Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Somalia to end cross-border FGM. This can only be done if the perpetrators in any of these countries are held to account for their actions and if law enforcers collaborate their efforts.
Please join Equality Now and our Kenya-based partners - Hope Beyond Foundation, I’llaramatak Community Concerns and Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative - in calling on the national government of Kenya and the sub-national governments to take urgent action to end FGM in accordance with Kenya’s domestic regional and international international obligations. This will ensure that:
- Laws against FGM are effectively implemented specifically with regard to proper investigation and prosecution of violations.
- All concerned national and local level authorities work collaboratively to put into place protective measures such as safe houses and shelters within at-risk communities to protect girls from both child marriage and FGM, and to ensure that they are able to continue their education.
- Awareness-raising and education campaigns are conducted to change cultural perception and beliefs on FGM and child marriage and acknowledging the practices as human rights violations with harmful consequences.