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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Unicef gets tougher against female mutilation

March 8, 2010
By SwissInfo

The Swiss section of the United Nations Children’s Fund has handed in almost 20,000 names calling for stronger measures against female genital mutilation.

The petitioners who filled in an online electronic card are calling on parliament to anchor criminal law provisions in the Swiss penal code against all forms of the practice.

Unicef Switzerland’s campaign was launched on February 6, the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, an annual United Nations awareness event.

The printed cards were handed in to Anita Thanei, president of the legal commission of the Swiss House of Representatives on Monday – International Women’s Day.

Unicef Switzerland, which has led a campaign opposing the practice for years, says such mutilation is carried out every ten seconds on a girl somewhere, with three million affected every year.

It adds that female genital mutilation is a gross infringement of the right of a child to physical integrity and the right to grow up healthily and in safety.