The long road to stopping FGM

Understanding how to deal with female genital mutilation (FGM) among asylum seekers is a struggle. A coordinated national approach would help, say experts. (SRF/

This content was published on November 3, 2015 - 11:00

In Switzerland it’s estimated that 14,700 girls and women have experienced or are threatened with FGM. Most come from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Egypt. The practice is a human right violation and a criminal offence in Switzerland.

The Federal Office of Public Health and the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) support various prevention and awareness measures against FGM, including a mediation service for the prevention of FGM run by the Caritas charity. But experts say coordinated preventative measures are lacking if the issue is going to be properly addressed by authorities.

At the end of October, the government announced that over the coming years health and migration authorities would contribute funding towards public awareness initiatives, counselling and prevention activities and the creation of a network against FGM run by various organisations.

According to the World Health Organisation, FGM includes all procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. These procedures are mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers and can cause severe bleeding and problems with urination. Later on it can cause cysts, infections, infertility, complications in childbirth and increased risk of stillborn births.

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know:

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?