Somalia: Child rights agencies concerned over decision that encourages FGM in Somaliland

Press Releases
By Child Rights Agencies
A woman in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliand, shows a blade and homemade anti-bleeding powder typical of those used by practitioners of female genital mutilation [Photo: Georgina Goodwin/UNFPA]

Hargeisa, Somaliland - Child Rights organizations operating in Somaliland have expressed concerns on a recent ruling by the Somaliland Government that encourages Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C).

The organizations—Save the Children, CARE International and International Rescue Committee (IRC) say the ruling, issued on February 6th, 2018, goes against the commitment abandon FGM/C and eliminate all harmful practices.

In a joint statement issued today, the organizations say the decision will erode decades of investments made in ending FGM/C in Somalia/Somaliland and undermines the mobilization, awareness-raising and prevention work undertaken by communities, national and international organizations and the government aiming at the total abandonment of FGM/C in Somalia/Somaliland.

On February 6th, the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs of the Republic of Somaliland issued a ruling making a certain type of FGM/C ‘mandatory’ for every girl in Somaliland and at the same time banning the most extreme forms (pharaonic).

“Female Genital Mutilation is a harmful procedure regardless the level of mutilation. It must be discouraged at all levels,’’ says Timothy Bishop of Save the Children Somalia/Somaliland on behalf of the other organizations.

However, the organizations welcomed the banning of extreme forms of FGM/C but insisted that the decision should apply to all forms of FGM/C. The organizations say they will continue to engage with the government of Somaliland to explore ways in which decisions made will be for the best interest of a child in Somaliland.

 

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