International Criminal Justice:
Why is the Criminalisation of FGM failing?
by Natalie Alfred
Criminal justice is a concept that is integrated in the laws of every state, but what if the enforcement of such laws is little to none when it comes to a certain crime? This is the case in relation to the prosecution of female genital mutilation (FGM). In the international sphere, breaches of human rights can be prosecuted not only by the national state but also by the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, FGM is a crime that is not prosecuted by either the ICC or many states in which this practice occurs, though it is considered a fundamental breach of human rights and international criminal law. This article explores the reasons why this is the case, especially on a domestic level, in regard to the cultures of these communities and how it can be mitigated. Though it recognises the limitations that exist both culturally and politically, this article contains practical steps that could be taken, as well as considerations, when pursuing the prosecution of FGM. Furthermore, it looks to the future with ways to eradicate the practice of FGM specifically through education with the help of non-governmental organisations.