The 2009-2014 End FGM European Campaign, led by Amnesty International in partnership with fifteen national NGOs from across Europe, set out to place FGM on the European agenda and to gain the attention of decision and policy makers. END FGM called on them to adopt a comprehensive approach to tackling FGM in Europe and beyond. Concerted advocacy and campaigning efforts led to FGM finally being recognised as a neglected problem that needs to be addressed holistically across Europe.
Six years of END FGM partnership brought many achievements. The European Commission released its first ever action plan towards the elimination of FGM in 2013. European governments and the European Parliament formally supported this action plan and committed to engage further in preventing the practice and protecting affected women and girls. The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating all forms of violence against women, which entered into force in August 2014, is the first treaty to recognise that FGM exists in Europe. It provides a framework for action which shall guide the work of decision and policy makers, NGOs and civil society organisations (CSOs).
There is no doubt that the prevention of FGM is now on the European agenda. But for how long? Preventing FGM can only be achieved by transforming attitudes, and this takes time. We need sustainable engagement from decision makers to end this human rights violation. To ensure that commitments are turned into concrete action, we created the new End FGM European Network.
When the End FGM campaign ended in 2014, its national partners recognised that there was still a lot to do to guarantee the effective implementation of a holistic approach to ending FGM. Eleven organisations from across Europe decided to form the End FGM EU and continue the work of the campaign. We have come together, united in our vision to create a strong and sustainable European movement to end FGM.