Awareness-raising campaigns and media coverage of trials (approximately 40 to date)1)According to Linda Weil-Curiel, lawyer, CAMS (Commission for the Abolition of Genital Mutilation), consulted on 31/03/2016. France was the first country in Europe to file law suits regarding FGM, as early as 1979. Convictions of female-excision practitioners and parents were obtained, including compensation for victims. have had a direct effect on decreasing the practice of FGM in France. Initially tried in criminal courts under the charge of assault and battery or involuntary manslaughter, FGM has since been qualified as a crime of mutilation, tried by the Court of Assize. This change was the result of the activism of associations bringing civil proceedings in the 1980s.2)Women’s Leeague of International Law in France, SOS Femmes Alternative – French support association for women who are victims of violence, CAMS (Commission for the Abolition of Genital Mutilation). Maternal and Child Protection Centres have also played an important role in the prevention of FGM over the same period.
The 2013 transposition of the Istanbul Convention into French law has further strengthened the legal framework, by defining new offences relating to FGM (cf. supra § 3.2 Criminal law).
France has also been a pioneer in approaches to the assistance of FGM-affected women, especially surgical reconstruction, which today is provided by several multidisciplinary centres with costs reimbursed by the state.
In 2013, activists committed to the prevention of FGM launched a large-scale mobilisation campaign entitled Excision, parlons-en!, which one year later became a network association.
FGM has been included in introductory training programmes for medicine, midwifery and nursing at French universities since 2006, in accordance with General Directorate for Health FGM campaign circulars DGS/SD 2C n°2006-529 of 13 December 2006 (training of health professionals) and DGS/SD n°2007-98 of 8 March 2007 (training of medical students). FGM is also included in optional training for public and independent health professionals, through conferences and other activities, and is encouraged for social workers. For more information, including training for teachers and educational teams, visit the Académie de Paris website.
Examples of best practices (public institutions)
- Interactive map of reception, counselling and guidance facilities for combating violence against women (see Ministry of Families, Children and Women’s Rights: open; download)
- International directory of accommodation centres for women who are victims of violence (see Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development—currently being updated: open)
- Shared practice in combating FGM and violence against women (see Excision,parlons-en ! network of structures presented in § 6 and 7.1)
Examples of best practices (civil society)
All structures and associations included in the Excision,parlons-en ! network of structures implement best practice. For example:
- Protéger la Prochaine Génération (Protecting the Next Generation): Equilibres et Populations: integrated pilot project promoting the elimination of FGM in Mali (Kayes district) and the Greater Paris Region, connecting members of the Malian diaspora with communities in villages of origin that are gradually ending FGM, strengthening the process of ending FGM in Mali and France. (Overall presentation: Open; detailed presentation: Open)
- Map to guide women who are victims of violence in the Greater Paris Region (Hubertine Auclert Centre: Open)