African countries urged to toughen laws on female genital mutilation

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Millions of girls in Africa are at risk of female genital mutilation because their governments are failing to enforce laws banning the internationally condemned practice, campaigners said on Thursday.

Six countries which are home to 16 million girls – Chad, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan – still do not even criminalize FGM, according to a major report examining laws in the 28 African countries where the tradition is endemic.

“These countries are failing to protect their girls and women,” said Ann-Marie Wilson, executive director of campaign group 28 Too Many, which worked with 125 lawyers around the world to compile the study, the largest of its kind.

“FGM is always traumatic and has a life-long impact. A law sends a strong…

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