[Brussels, 06 February 2013] 6 February 2013 is the tenth anniversary of the International day of zero tolerance of female genital mutilation (FGM). At this occasion and in the framework of the European campaign “END FGM”, Amnesty International released a video recalling that FGM is a fundamental human right violation which also happens in Europe.
Every minute, five girls in the world are victims of FGM. In Europe, 180 000 girls and women are at risk of being victims of this severe human right violation every year. 500 000 girls and women have been subjected to this form of torture worldwide. FGM causes severe health problems, including severe bleeding, shock, infection, septicemia, as well as life-long psychological consequences. According to Manfred Nowak, UN special rapporteur on torture, “the pain inflicted by FGM does not stop with the initial procedure, but often continues as ongoing torture throughout a woman’s life”. 
While international law instruments exist to protect against FGM, such as the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women) and the Convention Against Torture, the number of victims worldwide remains too high and coordinated responses from national governments are lacking.
This is the reason why in 2009 Amnesty International, in partnership with 14 NGOs across Europe, launched the European campaign “ENG FGM” advocating for a commitment and a coordinated political response from EU governments. Around 42,500 people signed the call asking for European Union action to end FGM and to protect the victims. More information on the campaign can be found on END FGM website.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the International day of zero tolerance of FGM, Amnesty International also released a new video presenting creations of four artists from Brazil, Italy, Cyprus and Belgium. The creations in the form of thousands of paper rose petals each carrying the signature of the 42.500 supporters of the campaigns will be unveiled on 27 February 2013 at a gala event in Bozar in Brussels (Belgium).