The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union) sets out the rights of EU citizens and residents, rights derived from the constitutional traditions common to EU countries, as well as the economic and social rights agreed through international treaties.
In 2009, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the charter was given binding legal effect.
Among articles that are pertinent to addressing the practice of FGM and violence against women in general, are:
- Article 1, declaring the right to dignity
- Article 2, declaring the right to life
- Article 3, declaring the right of physical and mental integrity
- Article 4, which states the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
- Article 21, prohibiting discrimination
- Article 23, enshrining equality between men and women in all areas of life
- Article 24, declaring the rights of children to be protected, to express their views freely and for their best interest to be taken into consideration by authorities