Pay victims of FGM compensation since no implementation of VAPP law – NGO urges
An NGO, Citizens Centre for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR), has urged government at various levels to apologise publicly and pay victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) compensation in the country.
“The apology and compensation have become necessary due to failure to implement the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law meant to protect girls/women from such inhuman practice that infringes on their fundamental right,” CCIDESOR said in a statement.
The statement, which was issued on Monday in Enugu, was jointly signed by the NGO’s Executive Director, Mrs Nnenna Onyenoha, and its Programme Manager, Mr Nnaemeka Onyejiuwa.
The statement was issued in commemoration of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM.
The statement called on all tiers of government to sustain publicity and awareness campaign on VAPP Law, particularly the sections that criminalise the practice of FGM.
“Government should popularise the VAPP law by making it easily available to citizens and create awareness on the penalties against practitioners of FGM.
“Set up monitoring committees at Federal and state levels for full compliance of the law by communities and practitioners.
“Empower communities’ traditional leaders and town union leaders to abolish FGM in line with the VAPP law and ensure strict compliance by community members.
“Empower Ministries of Women, Nigeria Medical Association, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and churches to educate women against providing their new babies for FGM,” it said.
The statement urged CSOs to mount door-to-door and roadshow campaigns against the practice of FGM as well as establish community watch against the practice and facilitate prosecution of identified hidden offender.
“CSOs should engage communities and local women on the dangers of FGM and the need to protect the girl-child against FGM; advocate for budgetary provision to end FGM and hold government accountable for non-implementation of zero FGM and application of VAPP law,” it said.
The statement noted it is unfortunate that neither Southern nor Northern Governors Forum that regularly meet on many political and socio-economic issues, have ever considered measures for the eradication of this crime against society/humanity.
“CCIDESOR also observed that FGM has remained the least issue of worry to Federal and State Executive Councils’ during their meetings,” it said.
On the South-East, the statement said that recent field research shows that the practice of FGM is more prevalent in South-East, South-South and South-West Nigeria.
“In South-East Nigeria, the practice is more in Imo, Anambra and Ebonyi States,” it added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this year’s theme for International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM is “Accelerating Investment to End FGM”.
The Day is observed on Feb. 6 to create awareness about ending the practice of FGM. The day has been marked since 2012 by the United Nations. (NAN)