September 30, 2011
World Radio Switzerland
Both houses of the Federal Assembly have voted to outlaw female genital mutilation in Switzerland.
It passed almost unanimously in the National Council, save for one member of the Swiss People’s Party.
The petition was brought forward by the women’s section of the Social Democrat Party.
Leader of the campaign, MP Maria Roth-Bernasconi, said outlawing the practice would speed up court cases against perpetrators, as well as send out a powerful message.
A second motion to enact an information campaign about the crime also got the go-ahead.
This is to inform the public, as well as parents who must decide whether their daughter should be circumcised, that the practice is illegal in Switzerland.
Bernasconi said it would also make government officials presiding over asylum applications aware of what some women face if they must return to their country of origin.
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