On 4 April 2019 the Finnish League for Human Rights organised a Finnish FGM Network meeting where the National Institute of Health and Welfare was invited to present the new National Action Plan for the prevention of FGM.
As an estimated 10,000 girls or women who have undergone FGM and approx. 650–3,080 girls at risk of FGM are living in Finland, preventing female genital mutilation remains a highly topical issue. An Action Plan for the prevention of circumcision of girls and women was valid in Finland in 2012–2016. The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence obligates Finland to prepare new guidelines for a system for preventing FGM and to ensure their effective implementation.
This new Action Plan for the prevention of female genital mutilation was prepared by the National Institute for Health and Welfare together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and a broad-based steering group. The Action Plan contains recommendations addressed to municipalities, decision-makers, professionals, non-governmental organisations, members of communities practising FGM and others who encounter this issue on measures for preventing the practice and supporting women and girls who have undergone it. This action plan aims to continue the good practices that Finland has implemented to prevent FGM and to develop new means to help victims of FGM, for example.
The main objective of the action plan is to increase healthcare and social welfare professionals' knowledge and competence by ensuring that they are provided with training on how to talk about FGM and on their duty to notify. Another objective is to ensure effective dissemination of information to groups at risk of being subjected to FGM. The action plan includes useful information for decision-makers, education and research organisations, and other organisations, which should, for their own part, participate in the prevention of FGM and the promotion of the health and welfare of those who have been subjected to the practice. This action plan is a follow-on to the action plan for the prevention of FGM for 2012–2016, adopted by Finland.