The cross-party Parliamentary Legal Committee has voted unanimously to approve a citizen’s initiative to ban female genital mutilation.
Although FGM is already considered a crime under statutes dealing with assault and aggravated assault, the citizen’s initiative wanted it to become a distinct provision within the Penal Code – and on Wednesday the committee agreed.
“It has been banned before this already, but we do emphasize so it will be mentioned specifically in the law in future,” says MP Eeva-Johanna Eloranta (SDP) one of the Legal Affairs Committee members.
The committee has members from eight main parliamentary parties, and showed rare unanimous support for the initiative – which now goes to the full parliament for a vote and then the text of the new law will be drafted by the Ministry of Justice in due course.
Politicians say their consensus sends a strong message about FGM and the rights of women and girls in Finland, and for any girls taken from Finland to another country where they are mutilated.
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