FGM/C is practised in at least 29 African countries as well as in a few other countries in Asia and the Middle East. A large majority of the countries have enacted legislation explicitly criminalising the practice of FGM/C. The prescribed punishments range from prison terms of three months up to lifelong imprisonment, and, in some states, a fine.
For information and data relating to the prevalence of FGM/C in various African countries, see UNICEF, Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting Country Profiles.
The countries in which FGM/C is explicitly prohibited by law, or at least by constitutional provision, are listed below (in alphabetical order). The name of the country is followed by the year in which the corresponding legislation was enacted. A link to the text of the legislation has been provided wherever possible.
|7||Eritrea||2007||Proclamation No. 158/2007 of 2007, A Proclamation to Abolish Female Circumcision of 20 March 2007|
|12||Kenya||2001||Children Act No. 8 of 2001; Art. 14; 2011 Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act No. 32 – see www.politicalkenyan.com/kenya-constitution-on-fgm|
|15||Nigeria||2015||Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015 (VAPP) of 25 May 2015; in some federated entities as early as 1999-2002|
|17||Somalia||2012||Art. 15(4) Provisional Constitution of 1 August 2012; Puntland: 2014|
|24||Central African Republic||1966||amended 1996|
In Iraq, FGM/C is prohibited by law in the region of Kurdistan; it is also prohibited in some states of Sudan.
However, some countries, such as Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone, still have no legal basis explicitly prohibiting FGM/C up to the present time.
A survey of the legal situation in EU member states can be found in: European Institute for Gender Equality, Female genital mutilation in the European Union and Croatia, 2013, p. 96.