Our position

The best interest of the child must always be prioritised and children and youth must be meaningfully involved in any action that affects them.

FGM is traditionally performed on girls and young adolescents: girls below 14 represent 44 million of the total 200 million who currently live with the consequences of FGM, which indicates FGM as a clear child’s rights issue. Any intervention around FGM must be child- and youth-sensitive, particularly when dealing with girls at risk or Survivors.

What is the current status?

The European Union promotes children’s rights both internally, through a Coordinator on Children’s Rights, and externally, through the work of EU Delegations in third countries.

  • Internally, it has adopted 10 Principles for Integrated Child Protection Systems, for Member States to apply them at national level.
  • On the other hand, the European Union's external action on this issue is guided by the Guidelines on Children’s Rights.

The European Commission is in the process of drafting the very first Strategy on the Rights of the Child (due in 2021).

Our resources

Toolkit for EU Delegations on actions and commitments to end FGM - Toolkit (2018)

Framing the European Commission's 10 Principles for Integrated Child Protection Systems in the context of FGM - Briefing Paper (2019)

Want to know more? Have a look at our other areas of work: Gender-Based Violence / Asylum / FGM as a global issue.