The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for urgent action by well-meaning individuals and organisations to join the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
The NHRC’s Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu, SAN, made the call in commemoration of the 2022 World Day of Zero Tolerance for the practice of FGM.
Feb. 6, every year is set aside to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, with the theme, “Accelerating Investment to End FGM”.
“The commission is calling on to well-meaning individuals and organisations to join its resolve to do more in matters concerning zero tolerance for FGM in the country.
” The commission has always led efforts to eradicate the unsightly, unhealthy, harmful, and degrading practice of FGM over the years,” he said.
He recalled the findings of several studies that highlighted severe protection and oversight inadequacies in national and international frameworks for survivors of FGM.
Ojukwu said the NHRC had prepared a training manual on human rights and other FGM-related concerns in Nigeria, in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Civil Resource Documentation Development Centre (CIRDDOC),
“The manual which was developed in 2017 has continued to be a source of reference material to academia, development partners and the public across the globe,” Ojukwu said.
Ojukwu said the Manual provides a general background analysis of women’s human rights and Female Genital Mutilation, which is a type of violence against women and girls.
He added that the Manual also provides a guide for reporting FGM in line with the prescribed standards.
FGM, according to the United Nations (UN), comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons.
It is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women, the global organisation says, as it aims to have it eradicated around the world by 2030.
It was first introduced in 2003 and is now being marked in major countries in the world. The annual event is part of advocacy for women’s rights to their bodies and the protection of their physical health, which can have a significant impact later in life.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO) figures, about 120 to 140 million women have been subjected to FGM over the years, and at least three million girls are at danger each year.