Original HRC document

PDF

Document Type: Final Resolution

Date: 2018 Jul

Session: 38th Regular Session (2018 Jun)

Agenda Item: Item3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

GE.18-11905 (E) 260718 260718



Human Rights Council Thirty-eighth session

18 June–6 July 2018

Agenda item 3

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 5 July 2018

38/6. Elimination of female genital mutilation

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Recalling the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of

All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child

and the optional protocols thereto, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,

Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Convention on the

Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and all

other relevant human rights instruments,

Reaffirming that the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on

the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, together with the optional

protocols thereto, constitute an important contribution to the legal framework for the

protection and promotion of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and

girls,

Recalling its resolutions 27/22 of 26 September 2014, on intensifying global efforts

and sharing good practices to effectively eliminate female genital mutilation, and 32/21 of 1

July 2016, on the elimination of female genital mutilation,

Recalling also General Assembly resolution 71/168 of 19 December 2016, on

intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilation, and all other

relevant resolutions of the General Assembly, the Commission on the Status of Women and

the Human Rights Council on measures to eliminate traditional practices that are

detrimental to the rights of women and girls,

Recalling further the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,1 the Programme

of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development,2 the Beijing

Declaration and Platform for Action3 and the outcomes of their review conferences,

1 A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

2 General Assembly resolution S-21/2, annex.

United Nations A/HRC/RES/38/6

General Assembly Distr.: General 20 July 2018

English

Original: French

2 GE.18-11905

Welcoming the commitment made by States to achieve gender equality and the

empowerment of all women and girls in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development4

and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, 5adopted as the outcome document of the Third

International Conference on Financing for Development,

Recognizing that female genital mutilation is a harmful practice that violates, abuses

and undermines the human rights of women and girls, that it is linked to other harmful

practices and violations of such rights, which it perpetuates, and that such practices and

violations, in turn, pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of women and girls,

including their physical integrity and their mental, sexual and reproductive health,

Recognizing also that the practice has no documented health benefits and may, on

the contrary, increase the risk of sickness and death, that it causes severe stress and shock,

that it may give rise to post-partum and obstetric complications such as fistula or

haemorrhage, and that it is likely to increase vulnerability to HIV and hepatitis C and B and

to cause other health problems,

Recognizing further that the practice of female genital mutilation continues to have

an adverse effect not on only the economic, legal, health and social status of women and

girls, but also on the development of society as a whole, while the empowerment of and

investment in women and girls, their full enjoyment of their human rights and their full,

equal, effective and meaningful participation at all levels of decision-making are key to

breaking the cycle of gender inequality, discrimination, gender violence and poverty and

are critical, inter alia, to sustainable development,

Recognizing that female genital mutilation and all other harmful practices are mainly

motivated by gender inequality and patriarchal social norms that jeopardize the recognition,

enjoyment and exercise of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls,

and that harmful practices constitute a human rights violation and a form of violence

against women and children,

Recognizing also that harmful practices such as female genital mutilation are an

impediment to the full realization of gender equality and the empowerment of women and

girls, respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls and the

development of their full potential as equal partners with men and boys, as well as the

achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,

Convinced that such harmful practices seriously impede the implementation of

legislative and normative frameworks that guarantee gender equality and human rights and

prohibit gender-based discrimination,

Deeply concerned that, despite increased national, regional and international efforts,

the practice of female genital mutilation persists in all parts of the world and that new

forms, such as medicalization and cross-border practice, are emerging,

Concerned about evidence of an increase in the incidence of female genital

mutilation being carried out by medical personnel in all regions in which it is practised,

Recognizing that the practice constitutes torture or ill-treatment and must be

prohibited, in accordance with regional and international human rights standards, and that

the trend towards the medicalization of female genital mutilation does not make it any more

acceptable,

Expressing deep concern about the lack of effective measures for prosecuting

perpetrators and providing victims of female genital mutilation with access to remedies and

redress, health care and health services, psychosocial counselling, legal assistance and

socioeconomic reintegration services,

3 Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4–15 September 1995 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.

4 General Assembly resolution 70/1. 5 General Assembly resolution 69/313, annex.

GE.18-11905 3

Recognizing the role of regional and subregional instruments and mechanisms in the

prevention and elimination of female genital mutilation,

Taking note of the “UNiTE to end violence against women” campaign launched by

the Secretary-General in 2018,

Recalling the inter-agency global strategy launched in 2010 by the World Health

Organization to stop health-care providers from performing female genital mutilation,

Welcoming the growing global consensus on the need to take appropriate measures

to prevent and eradicate female genital mutilation, and considering that this practice cannot

be justified on religious or cultural grounds,

Recognizing that efforts at the local, national, regional and international levels have

led to a decline in the global prevalence of female genital mutilation, but remaining deeply

concerned that there is still a significant shortfall in the resources allocated to the

elimination of female genital mutilation and that the lack of funding has severely limited

the scope and roll-out of programmes and activities designed to eliminate the practice,

Reaffirming the obligations and commitments of States to respect, protect and

promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls and to prevent

and eliminate the practice of female genital mutilation,

Bearing in mind that States have primary responsibility for preventing and

eliminating female genital mutilation and for achieving zero tolerance of the practice,

1. Urges States to condemn all harmful practices that affect women and girls, in

particular female genital mutilation, including medical acts performed within or outside of

medical institutions, and to take all necessary measures to prohibit female genital mutilation

and to protect women and girls from this form of violence;

2. Urges States to adopt, implement, harmonize and enforce laws and policies

to prevent and put an end to female genital mutilation, protect those at risk and support

women and girls who have been subjected to the practice;

3. Calls upon States to develop and implement, with the participation of the

relevant stakeholders — including girls, women, religious and traditional leaders,

community leaders, health-care providers, civil society, human rights groups, men and boys

and youth organizations — integrated, comprehensive and coordinated strategies and

policies to prevent and eliminate all forms of female genital mutilation;

4. Urges States to ensure the national implementation of international and

regional obligations that they have undertaken under the various international instruments

that protect the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and

girls;

5. Stresses that the empowerment of women and girls is key to breaking the

cycle of discrimination and violence and to promoting and protecting human rights,

including the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and

mental health;

6. Calls upon States, the international community and the United Nations

system to stop the medicalization of female genital mutilation, which implies drawing up

and disseminating guidance and legal provisions for medical personnel and traditional birth

attendants so as to provide an adequate response to the chronic mental and physical health

problems of the millions of women and girls who have undergone female genital

mutilation, as these problems hinder progress in the field of health in general and in the

protection of human rights, including the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable

standard of physical and mental health;

7. Urges States to respect, protect and promote the human rights of all women

and girls, and to adopt and expedite the implementation of laws, policies and programmes

that protect and enable their enjoyment of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms,

including their sexual and reproductive health;

4 GE.18-11905

8. Urges States to promote accountability and ensure access to justice for the

effective implementation and enforcement of laws aimed at preventing and eliminating all

forms of female genital mutilation, including by informing women and girls about their

rights and removing all barriers to access to legal assistance and remedies;

9. Calls upon States to take the following immediate and effective measures to

eradicate the practice of female genital mutilation:

(a) Address the root causes of gender inequality, including gender stereotypes

and negative social norms, attitudes and behaviours, the socioeconomic drivers of violence

and unequal power relations such as patriarchal norms that perpetuate female genital

mutilation;

(b) Place special emphasis on formal and informal education, in particular for

young people, including girls, and for parents and religious, traditional and community

leaders, about the harmful effects of female genital mutilation, and, in particular, encourage

men and boys to become more involved in information and awareness campaigns and to be

agents of change within communities, with the meaningful participation of women and girls

who have been subjected to the practice;

(c) Continue and intensify their efforts to provide information and raise

awareness about the harmful effects of female genital mutilation, increase their support for

action to eliminate the practice at the community, national and international levels, and

organize activities within this framework during the International Day of Zero Tolerance

for Female Genital Mutilation, with the involvement of religious and traditional authorities;

(d) Develop, support and promote, as appropriate, educational programmes,

including programmes on sexual and reproductive health, that challenge the negative

stereotypes and harmful attitudes and practices that sustain female genital mutilation and

perpetuate violence and discrimination against women and girls;

(e) Adopt national legislation prohibiting female genital mutilation, in line with

international human rights law, and take steps to ensure its strict application, while working

to harmonize their laws in order to effectively combat the cross-border practice of female

genital mutilation, including by strengthening transnational police and judicial cooperation

in the exchange of information on victims and perpetrators of female genital mutilation, in

accordance with national laws and policies and international human rights law;

(f) Systematize the collection of data on female genital mutilation, encourage

research, particularly at university level, transparency, accountability and data-sharing by

the relevant stakeholders, and use the results to strengthen public information and

awareness-raising activities and effectively measure the progress made in eliminating

female genital mutilation;

(g) Assist professional associations and trade unions of health service providers

in adopting internal disciplinary rules prohibiting their members from engaging in the

harmful practice of female genital mutilation;

10. Calls upon States to provide assistance to women and girls who are victims

of female genital mutilation, including through appropriate support services for treatment of

the physical, physiological and psychological consequences;

11. Encourages States to consider presenting, during the universal periodic

review, relevant recommendations on measures to prevent and eliminate female genital

mutilation;

12. Invites the international community to keep the issue of the elimination of

female genital mutilation on the agenda of development policies and to devote special

attention to the issue in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals between

now and 2030;

13. Calls upon States to continue to increase technical and financial assistance

for the effective implementation of policies, programmes and action plans to eliminate

female genital mutilation at the national, regional and international levels;

GE.18-11905 5

14. Invites the Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting of the

United Nations Population Fund and the United Nations Children’s Fund to continue to

develop the national capacities of States and local communities, including in the health

sector, to ensure the effective implementation of policies, programmes and action plans

with the involvement of all stakeholders, and encourages States and development

cooperation agencies to consider increasing their financial support for the Joint Programme;

15. Invites the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the

relevant human rights treaty bodies to continue to give special consideration to the question

of the elimination of female genital mutilation;

16. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in close

collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the

United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women)

and other United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes, international human

rights mechanisms and civil society organizations, to organize a two-day meeting in 2019,

preferably in Addis Ababa, to discuss progress, gaps and challenges in the application of

human rights norms, standards and principles to the measures taken by State and non-State

actors to prevent and eliminate female genital mutilation in different contexts, including in

the context of communities, humanitarian assistance and migration and other population

movements, and to submit a report on the outcome of the above-mentioned meeting at the

forty-fourth session of the Human Rights Council;

17. Decides to continue its consideration of the question of female genital

mutilation in accordance with its programme of work.

37th meeting

5 July 2018

[Adopted without a vote.]