Action Plan for Combating Female Genital Mutilation 2008-2011

This Action Plan is the result of the joint efforts of seven ministries. The responsibility for coordinating the work to combat female genital mutilation lies with the Ministry of Children and Equality.

Female genital mutilation is prohibited and punishable by law in Norway. The practice conflicts with fundamental human rights and with the United Nations
conventions on the rights of women and of children. Article 24 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child establishes that children have a right to the
highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a grave violation of these rights and it has serious health-related and social consequences for the girls affected. These
violations must be combated through long-term, goaloriented efforts that focus on prevention and opinionchanging. Everyone must make an all-out effort and
cooperation between affected groups and expert communities must be strengthened. Prevention of female genital mutilation is the long-term target. In
the meantime, girls and women who have been subjected to genital mutilation must be given relevant and efficacious treatment. This is underlined in this Action
Plan.

Female genital mutilation is practised by certain ethnic groups, primarily in Africa but also in some Asian countries. Many of the people who have come to Norway from areas where FGM is widespread disapprove of the practice. Nonetheless, persons with backgrounds from countries which practise FGM are bound to attract attention, although this may be experienced as stigmatisation. Adult women who have
been subjected to genital mutilation themselves, and who are now working to prevent new violations, may find this attention unpleasant. However, the Government deems it important to stress that genital mutilation is regarded an extremely serious violation of girls and that a strong focus is absolutely essential.

This Action Plan places the responsibility for efforts to combat female genital mutilation even more clearly with the national, regional and local authorities. The
Government calls for close cooperation between the authorities and the affected groups. A national advisory group will therefore be set up as part of this cooperation.

This Action Plan is the result of the joint efforts of seven ministries. The responsibility for coordinating the work to combat female genital mutilation lies with
the Ministry of Children and Equality.

Action Plan for Combating Female Genital Mutilation 2008-2011