Assessing the impact of existing legislation in Europe with regard to female genital mutilation


To establish the state of the art of existing laws in all EU Member States applicable to FGM;
To analyse the implementation of such legislation in 5 EU Member States;
To assess the impact of existing legislation;
To formulate recommendations for an EU strategy on legal actions towards FGM.


Questionnaire to compile information about general/specific criminial laws and child protection laws regarding FGM in all EU
Member States. The questionnaire was sent to key informants in 15 EU member states.
Comparative analysis in Belgium, France, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom to investigate the different legal approaches and respective judicial outcomes. The pilot study consisted of fieldwork done at 3 levels (police (registration and assessment of FGM)/child protection authorities; prosecution offices and court cases), based on a two-folded strategy: an analysis of documents and a
case study in a defined geographical area in each of the 5 countries. The document analysis was performed in the 5 EU countries and based upon a research methodology used in those 5 nations: an analysis of (classified) documents (archival records) with regard to jurisprudence concerning cases related to FGM. The case study was performed, to collect and analyse empirical evidence
concerning the implementation of legislation applicable to FGM. This case study aimed at identifying whether legislation is implemented, in addition to identifying factors impeding the implementation of legislation.


A desk study to collect legislation applicable to FGM in all15 EU Member States;
Steering group meetings to discuss the methodology of the implementation review
Review of the jurisprudence in five EU countries (Belgium, France, Spain, Sweden, UK);
Compilation of a country report on FGM legislation and its implementation in Belgium, France, Spain, Sweden, UK;
Steering group meetings to perform the comparative analyse of the different legal approaches and the respective judicial outcomes in 5 EU Member States;
Elaboration of a comparative report;
Publication and dissemination of the recommendations;
Reporting activities towards the EC


An inventory of existing legislation in all EU Member States, applicable on FGM;
A review of the judicial outcomes regarding FGM in 5 selected EU Member States;
A comparative analyse of the different legal approaches and the respective judicial outcomes in the 5 EU Member States;
An evaluation of the impact of existing national legislations concerning female genital mutilation in the 5 EU Member States;
Recommendations for an EU strategy on legislative actions towards FGM;
A small booklet with the recommendations.

Funding agencies

European Commission


Els Leye, Jessika Deblonde, Linda Weil/Curiel, Sara Johnsdotter, José García Añón, Adwoa Kwateng-Kluvitse, Marleen Temmerman


Sara Johnsdotter (Lund University, Department of Sociology, Sweden); José Garcá Añón (University of Valencia, Human Rights Institute, Spain); Mrs Linda Weil-Curiel (Commission pour l'Abolition des Mutilations Sexuelles (CAMS), France); Adwoa Kwateng-Kluvitse (Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development (FORWARD), United Kingdom)