EU - Declaration of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on the Need to Intensify the Efforts to Prevent & Combat Female Genital Mutilation & Forced Marriage in Europe

Извор: WUNRN – 03.10.2017

Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)

Declaration of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on the Need to Intensify the Efforts to Prevent and Combat Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage in Europe

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe,

1.         Recalling the member States’ obligation to secure for everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

(European Convention on Human Rights, ETS No. 5), and to provide an effective remedy before a national authority for any violation of those rights and freedoms, and their obligations arising, as relevant, from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention, CETS No. 210);

2.         Recognising that female genital mutilation and forced marriage (i) are violations of human rights and, where relevant, a violation of children’s rights ; (ii) are based on gender; (iii) constitute serious forms of violence against women and girls; (iv) are linked to and perpetuate other harmful practices and human rights violations;

3.         Recalling that these harmful practices affect women and girls of all ages, while noting that forced marriage can also affect men and boys;

4.         Expressing its deep concern at the severe, often irreparable and irreversible harmful consequences of female genital mutilation and forced marriage;

5.         Emphasising that despite growing international awareness of the gravity of female genital mutilation and forced marriage, these harmful practices persist globally and are also present in Europe;

6.         Welcoming and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations, which include the elimination of female genital mutilation and forced marriage by 2030, and encouraging all Council of Europe member States to make an active contribution to their implementation;

7.         Reaffirming its willingness to co-operate with the European Union and other international, intergovernmental and regional organisations, as well as with non-governmental organisations, in the fight against female genital mutilation and forced marriage, at European level and beyond;

8.         Recalling the guidance and activities developed by the Council of Europe aimed at the prevention of violence against women, the protection of victims, the prosecution of perpetrators and the empowerment of women, in particular Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of the Committee of Ministers on the protection of women against violence, as well as its Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017, which includes the objective of preventing and combating violence against women;

 

9.         Recalling also that one of the 10 goals for the period from 2018 to 2028, announced by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the occasion of the International Roma Day, aims to eliminate child marriage in Roma and Traveller communities in Europe;

10.       Convinced that a comprehensive and integrated approach must lie at the heart of all efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation and forced marriage and must involve all those concerned, such as the affected communities, grassroots organisations, social and education services, child protection services, the police, the justice system, the asylum system, health and other relevant professionals;

11.       Stressing the need for awareness-raising, information and education campaigns to combat gender stereotypes that lie at the root of discrimination against women and girls, and which lead to harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage; and that these campaigns must involve all people – both women and men – in affected communities, professionals and relevant public and private stakeholders in society, and the media,

12.       Expresses the need to intensify efforts to prevent and combat female genital mutilation and forced marriage in Europe and beyond and, to this end, calls on member States to:

a. recognise female genital mutilation and forced marriage as forms of violence against women and girls, as violations of fundamental rights as laid down in the European Convention on Human Rights, and as acts that must constitute crimes according to the Istanbul Convention;

b. recognise that these affronts to human rights violate, in particular, the right to personal security and integrity, the right to physical and mental health and well-being, the right to sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights, and that they also constitute child abuse, an obstacle to school attendance, a detriment to children’s access to education and their intellectual and social development; and recalling that such violations can under no circumstances be justified on grounds of respect for cultural traditions, customs or religious beliefs;

c. include these issues in national policies and strategies to prevent and combat violence against women and girls through comprehensive legislation and programmes which:

i. establish and improve the collection of accurate and comparable data and research into the causes, prevalence and risk of these practices, taking into account, where relevant, the best interests of the child;

ii. address the vulnerable situations of women and girls that perpetuate these harmful practices, and encourage, empower and support women, girls and affected communities to challenge and abandon such harmful practices;

iii. improve the conditions for enabling the reporting of cases of female genital mutilation and forced marriage;

iv. provide a full range of prevention and protection measures, including tailored training for professionals and mechanisms to co-ordinate, monitor and evaluate implementation by national authorities;

v. provide for effective sanctions against the perpetrators of these harmful practices;

d. develop and promote effective measures that address the transnational elements to protect victims of and those at risk from these harmful practices, including when they occur outside the country of residence or origin; and ensure that female genital mutilation and forced marriage are recognised as grounds for international protection;

e. develop national action plans and strategies and, drawing on the Guide to good and promising practices aimed at combating and preventing female genital mutilation and forced marriage by the Steering Committee for Human Rights, promote exchanges of practices aimed at ending female genital mutilation and forced marriage, as well as identify how to provide effective support services for victims of these harmful practices;

f. sign and/or ratify, and fully implement, the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (Lanzarote Convention, CETS No. 201) and the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197);

g. sign and/or ratify, and fully implement, the United Nations Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the amendment and protocol thereto, and other relevant international instruments;

h. co-operate with other member States, through the application of relevant international, regional or bilateral instruments, with the purpose of preventing and combating female genital mutilation and forced marriage, identifying these harmful practices, protecting and providing assistance to victims, and ensuring that perpetrators are adequately prosecuted and punished.

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