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63a Sessione CSW – Evento a Margine su “Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation by 2030; Scaling up Communication Strategies and Mobilizing Resources for Effective Response”

Intervento pronunciato dall’Italia in occasione dell’Evento a margine su “Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation by 2030; Scaling up Communication Strategies and Mobilizing Resources for Effective Response” —

Thank you, Madame Chair,

Ladies and Gentleman,

Dear Panelists,

First, I would like to thank Burkina Faso for making this event possible, together with the other participating countries, including Italy,.

We all know that FGM continues in many areas of the world to be considered as a social norm, a traditional practice concerning women and children and girls, an almost “natural” milestone to becoming a woman.

The firm condemnation of the United Nations represents a turning point, made even stronger by successive mechanisms, such as the Istanbul Convention and Sustainable Development Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda, which includes – among its targets – the elimination of all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and of course FGM.

This broadening of our regulatory and political framework was made possible thanks to the action of the Group of African countries, and the action of civil society and states, such as Italy, which continues to strongly believe in the importance of the struggle to eradicate this insidious and often invisible plague once and for all.

And we are here today, all together to reiterate the importance of not dropping our guard, but rather of intensifying our efforts and actions to reach the Zero New Cases goal by 2030.

For this purpose, Italy has also passed a specific national law in 2006 divided into two: the first part tackling prevention, protection and assistance to the victims coordinated by our Department for Equal Opportunities.

The second part of the Law, instead, deals with criminal justice, with the introduction into the Criminal Code of the crime of Practices of FGMemale Genital Mutilation.

This Italian law was described as an example of best practice also by the UN Secretary-General in 2011.

I also have to say that some international organizations have recently reported situations of distress in holding centers for immigrant women who had undergone FGM or early and forced marriage in their home countries.

To address this issue, the Department for Equal Opportunities offered specific guidelines in early 2018 containing a series of indicators and guidance instruments to assist sector operators – such as social workers, cultural mediators, experts or volunteers n intercepting at-risk situations and successfully handling them, even in times of emergency.,

There is no reliable data on the phenomenon in our Country, although a recent EIGE (European Institute for Gender Equality) study conducted in Italy affirms that the risk of undergoing these practices involves 15 to 24% of girls coming from countries that regularly practice FGM.

An awareness-raising campaign on the issue is also set to be launched in 2019, with the support of NGOs and other institutions

Furthermore, within the framework of the new National Strategic Plan on Male Violence against Women for 2017-2020, specific attention is dedicated to “taking charge of victims of FGM”.

As far as Italy’s commitment at the international level is concerned, we have always cooperated with priority countries and in bilateral and multilateral actions to contribute to a change that girls today feel closer and more concrete – a change that has yet to be fully realized for current and future generations.

We must continue along this path with the same commitment, implementing ever broader, inclusive, integrated strategies that also rely on communication, so as to facilitate the complete and utter elimination of this unacceptable practice.

Thank you for your attention.