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FGM in Sierra Leone

What efforts have been made to ban FGM in Sierra Leone, and how successful have they been? Learn more from Equality Now.

What efforts have previously been made to ban FGM in Sierra Leone?

Although Sierra Leone does not have a national law that explicitly prohibits FGM, the following laws attempt to protect women and girls: 

  • The Child Rights Act 2007 which criminalizes all forms of torture directed to a child;
  • The Domestic Violence Act 2007 which seeks to protect women and girls from domestic violence, harm, or other acts which may endanger their safety, health or wellbeing;
  • The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 which illegalizes bodily harm of another person; and 
  • The Prevention and Control of HIV and AIDS Act 2007 which criminalizes the negligent use of unsafe procedures, leading to the spread of HIV.

Have these laws been used to prosecute the practice of FGM in Sierra Leone?

Considering that none of the laws in Sierra Leone criminalize FGM explicitly, there have not been any documented prosecutions with regards to FGM. In addition, owing to the existing gender inequalities in Sierra Leone, laws that are meant to protect and uphold the rights of women and girls are not implemented as they ought to be.