Four organisations have been working together for several years to combat female genital cutting (FGM/C) in Switzerland. Commissioned by the Swiss Confederation, they are currently implementing the project 'Measures against Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, 2016 – 2019'. The four cooperating partners came together to form the Network against female genital cutting in 2016. The Swiss confederation has guaranteed further financial support until June 2021.
CARITAS Switzerland is a non-profit organisation that provides help to people suffering from hardship and poverty. CARITAS Switzerland is the lead organisation with overall management of the project 'Measures against Female Genital Mutilation, FGM'. CARITAS Switzerland has operated the Department for the Prevention of Female Genital Cutting since 2006 on a mandate from the Federal Office of Public Health and the State Secretariat for Migration (2010). This department advises both those directly affected by FGM/C, and professionals on all aspects of FGM/C. In addition, CARITAS Switzerland works with migrants on awareness-raising activities in the communities affected. It regularly offers continuing training and coaching for participating migrant men and women.
Lead in the project: Responsible for leading the project, community work, training of professionals, communication and advocacy, national centre for advice on female genital cutting
SEXUAL HEALTH SWITZERLAND is the umbrella organisation representing centres and services that provide advice in the area of sexual and reproductive health in Switzerland. It engages in awareness-raising on the topic of female genital cutting and advocates on behalf of sexual and reproductive health and sexual rights. In 2009, the organisation conducted a survey among its member organisations concentrating on services aimed specifically at migrant women, in which it asked the extent to which advisors were confronted with the issue of female genital cutting and what needs they had in that respect. In 2013, SEXUAL HEALTH SWITZERLAND published guidelines for advising migrants entitled “Beratung von Migrantinnen und Migranten”, intended for professionals working in the area of sexual and reproductive health. The guidelines contain a section devoted to female genital cutting.
Lead in the project: Establishment and coordination of regional contact points, communication and advocacy, specific project assignments.
As a member of the SKMR, the IZFG of the University of Bern has been fulfilling this mandate as a project partner with CARITAS Switzerland and Sexual Health SUISSE since 2016. With the closure of the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights SKMR at the end of 2022, the mandate has now been officially transferred to the IZFG. Within the framework of this cooperation, the ICPFG is responsible for the information platform www.maedchenbeschneidung.ch. The IZFG has many years of expertise in knowledge dialogue and in the conception, development and support of web projects. With the professional perspective of gender studies, it contributes an important thematic component to the overall project of the Network against female genital cutting Switzerland.
Lead in the project: Developing and operating a multi-lingual, web-based information platform for people affected and professionals, Newsletter editing, communication, specific project assignments.
SWISS CENTRE OF EXPERTISE IN HUMAN RIGHTS, SCHR
The Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights, SCHR, a network comprising the Universities of Bern, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Zurich and Geneva, is a service provider with proven human rights expertise. Its gender politics cluster carried out a project on the validation of existing recommendations for action and best practices relating to prevention, care, protection and intervention in the area of female genital cutting in Switzerland. In this context, it compiled two basic studies: an analysis of existing recommendations for action and a general survey of legal provisions, competencies and authorities. Lead in the project, 2016-2022: Developing and operating a multi-lingual, web-based information platform for people affected and professionals.
Brava (former TERRE DES FEMMES Switzerland)
Brava is a human rights organisation active in promoting gender equality and combatting gender-based violence. TERRE DES FEMMES Switzerland engages in prevention and awareness-raising work on the topic of female genital cutting. It supports and advises women and girls affected as well as professionals and institutions, and holds educational events for professionals. TERRE DES FEMMES Switzerland has developed a range of prevention materials on the topic and published the 2014 report on existing FGM/C-related measures in Switzerland “Bestandesaufnahme über die bestehenden Massnahmen gegen weibliche Genitalverstümmelung (FGM) in der Schweiz in den Bereichen Prävention, Unterstützung und Schutz”. Lead in the project, 2016-2021: Training for professionals, national contact point for female genital cutting.
Individual activities, such as professional training, are being implemented in cooperation with the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG). The network is also in exchange with other national and international organisations.
Various experts, practitioners and multipliers working in Switzerland exchange views with the sponsors of the Network against female genital cutting Switzerland on current issues, new findings and challenges on the topic of female genital cutting FGM/C.
Strategic support of the sponsors by an interdisciplinary advisory group in the orientation and development of the network.
Meeting to be organised by the Confederation involving various cantonal bodies and federal agencies that bear responsibility for the issue of female genital mutilation/cutting FGM/C, manage programmes, steer measures or are involved in some other way.