The Stop FGM Act Could Save Thousands of Vulnerable Young Girls at Risk of Experiencing This Human Rights Violation
December 21, 2020
Washington, D.C.—Last Wednesday, the Senate passed a bill that will strengthen the prosecution of those convicted of practicing FGM (female genital mutilation). The “Strengthening the Opposition to Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2020,” HR 1600 now sits on President Trump’s desk, awaiting approval.
Elizabeth Yore, the internationally renowned attorney and child welfare advocate who heads EndFGMToday, said, “On behalf of the 513,000 girls and women at risk for Female Genital Mutilation in the United States, I urge President Trump to sign this critically important law which will ensure that these at-risk females will have the protection and power of federal legislation to ensure that FGM is a criminal violation in the United States. FGM is one of the most heinous violations of global human rights.”
Female genital mutilation is a human rights violation, as recognized by both the World Health Organization and the United Nations. Additionally, over 200 million women worldwide have been victims of this cruel practice—and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 500,000 girls are at risk in the U.S. alone. Unfortunately, the United States is not among those nations that have outlawed FGM. Yore says this is why state laws criminalizing FGM remain an urgent priority.
Elizabeth Yore has spent 30 years in legal child advocacy. Prior to her work at EndFGMToday.com, she served as special counsel at Harpo, Inc., as Oprah Winfrey’s child advocate. She was also general counsel at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services for eight years, as well as general counsel at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.