Child rights agencies concerned over gov’t decision encouraging FGM in Somaliland

Hargeisa, Somaliland (PANA) – Child rights organizations operating in Somaliland have expressed concern 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) - said the ruling, issued on 6 February 2018, goes against the commitment to abandon FGM/C and eliminate all harmful practices.

In a joint statement, issued on Monday, the organizations said the decision will erode decades of investments made in ending FGM/C in Somalia/Somaliland and undermines the mobilization, awareness-raising and 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 6 February, the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs of Somaliland issued a ruling making certain type of FGM/C ‘mandatory’ for every girl in Somaliland and at the same time banning the most extreme forms.

“Female Genital Mutilation is a harmful procedure regardless the level of mutilation. It must be discouraged at all levels,” said 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 said 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.
-0- PANA AR/MA 26Feb2018

26 february 2018 11:54:59

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