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U.N. panel OKs anti-mutilation resolution

Nov. 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A U.N. committee's adoption of a resolution against female genital mutilation boosts organizations' efforts to end the practice, Amnesty International said.

"FGM is an indictment of us all -- that a girl or young woman can be held down and mutilated is a violation of her human rights -- and, shockingly, an estimated 3 million girls are at risk each year," Jose Luis Diaz, Amnesty International's U.N. representative in New York, said in a release Monday.

The resolution approved by the committee that oversees social, humanitarian and human rights issues puts FGM in a human rights framework and calls for a holistic approach, Diaz said, and stresses "the importance of empowerment of women, promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive health, and breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence."

Female genital mutilation is common in 28 countries in Africa as well as in Yemen, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia and among some ethnic groups in South America, Amnesty International said.

Amnesty International said the U.N. resolution is a reminder to governments that they must develop national action plans in addition to laws, as well as ensure efforts to raise awareness have appropriate resources. The resolution also makes clear the matter is something that must involve all those affected, including males, if this practice is to end.

The resolution, which isn't legally binding, makes recommendations for preventing the practice, protecting at-risk girls, ending impunity and providing support services to women suffering from the lifelong consequences.

The resolution adopted by the Assembly's Third Committee is expected to be endorsed by the General Assembly in December.

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