The United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) has called on the Government to apply a zero tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
UNIOSIL said in a statement, made available to PANA in Freetown Friday, that the Government of Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leonean traditional leadership, faith-based agencies and the civil society should to do their utmost to eradicate the practice.
According to UN statistics, the prevalence of FGM in Sierra Leone is as high as 90%.
UNIOSIL therefore called for the enactment of an explicit law against the practice, which involves the removal of the female external genitalia.
“This legal framework – if enacted – will enhance the efforts of national and international stockholders to scale up the campaign against FGM, which will eventually lead to the elimination of this practice.
“It is evident that 130 million girls and women have been subjected to FGM around the globe, with most of them either found in Africa or are from an African origin,” UNIOSIL said.
FGM is prevalent in 28 African countries and an estimated 2 million girls are subjected to the practice each year.
The UN Sub-Commission on the promotion and protection of human rights has called on the General Assembly to declare 6 February every year the Day of International Zero Tolerance for FGM and other harmful traditional practices affecting girls and women.
Source: Panapress – 15 February 2008