Network meeting with European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourova

To mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance to female genital mutilation, European Commissioner for DG Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vera Jourova visited the premises of our Belgian member GAMS Belgium and met with the Network, members INTACT asbl and GAMS Belgium and partners of the Men Speak Out against female genital mutilation Awareness campaign.

The commissioner discussed with those working directly with affected communities regarding the importance of training for professionals,

Although it was clearly agreed that prosecution is an important element and must be enshrined in law, it was also clear from the discussion that prevention and protection are vital to ending female genital mutilation and are in the best interests of the child and communities affected by FGM.

The importance of peer educators in reaching the communities affected and the long-term funding needed to train them and to keep them motivated (as they can at times face isolation and need to be supported in their role) was highlighted.

There is comprehensive policy in place at EU and national level, but a harmonised approach to how implementing this needs to be monitored by the European Commission, in order to ensure that Member States are meeting their obligations and providing services for FGM survivors and those at risk.