Submission of GREVIO Joint Shadow Reports: United Kingdom

On 22 November 2023, the End FGM European Network and its UK members, National FGM Centre, FORWARD UK, We Speak Out, and Orchid Project submitted a Shadow Report to the Council of Europe GREVIO Committee on the implementation of the Istanbul Convention by the UK concerning prevention, protection, prosecution and integrated policies on FGM. The report aims to emphasize FGM as part of gender-based violence against women and girls in a holistic manner.

Read the report on the United Kingdom.

This report represents the UK chapter of a wider coordinated effort of End FGM EU to engage all its members in countries under GREVIO revision to present an FGM-focused report to bring the topic to the experts’ attention, which is too often neglected by State authorities. This project stems from our Guide on the Istanbul Convention as a tool to end female genital mutilation. It puts into practice the Guide’s holistic approach by considering its full application to FGM as a form of violence against women and girls, which needs to be addressed through prevention, protection, prosecution and integrated policies. It does not only analyse the application of the specific FGM Article 38 of the Istanbul Convention. Still, it addresses the full range of articles in the Convention and how they are applied to tackle FGM in the UK.

Next steps

After analysing the information gathered from the UK government, civil society and other international bodies, the experts will conduct a country visit in January 2024, which will help them gather first-hand country evidence and testimonies. All these steps will contribute to drafting the GREVIO Report on the UK implementation of the Istanbul Convention, which will be published in November 2024.

Photo credit: Council of Europe

Background information

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (known as the “Istanbul Convention”) is the first legally binding instrument recognising that FGM is also a European issue. It is shaped around the ‘four Ps approach’ (prevention, protection, prosecution and integrated policies) to end violence against women and includes a specific Article (38) on criminalisation of FGM.

To ensure that correct national implementation is being independently monitored, the Istanbul Convention established the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO). This monitoring body undertakes periodic revision of State Parties to the Convention. To this purpose, the GREVIO Committee engages in dialogue with states and receives information from NGOs and other international and national human rights bodies. At the end of such reviews, GREVIO drafts and publishes reports evaluating legislative and policy measures taken by the Parties to give effects to the provisions of the Convention points out shortcomings and makes concrete recommendations.