6 February is the International day of zero tolerance of female genital mutilation. FMG is a human rights violation that affects an estimated five girls each minute worldwide. 500,000 girls live in Europe with the physical and psychological consequences of FGM. Another 180,000 girls are at risk of being subjected to FGM each year. Over 42,000 people signed a rose petal either electronically or by hand seeking action from the European Union.
While several EU countries have laws against practice of FGM, states are unable to fully protect girls and prevent FGM because of lack of coordinated measures across health, social service, asylum and police services. Amnesty International’s END FGM European Campaign seeks a coordinated response from the EU that involves active engagement of the affected communities. The END FGM European Campaign is supported by 14 NGOs across Europe.
Four International artists and designers, Adriana Bertini from Brazil, Ilaria Venturini Fendi from Italy, Nayia Evangelou from Cyprus and Walter Van Beirendonck from Belgium, gave life to a creation using thousands of paper rose petals bearing signatures from all over Europe. Amnesty International released a video entitled It’s time to end female genital mutilation featuring the artists who have incorporated the voices and demands of 42,000 people seeking action from the EU.
“Female genital mutilation is a reality not only in African countries but also here in Europe. The recent UN resolution demands more efforts from all governments. I am grateful to the people who signed the rose petals and the artists and designers who have contributed with their talent to put a spotlight on the concerns of the girls and women affected by this practice”, said Dr Christine Loudes, Director, END FGM European Campaign.
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