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Child Right Coalition-Sierra Leone calls for end to child Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

These are the words a child who had been forced to undergo FGM at an early age. “My father died when I was 12 years old. One of our neighbors I called uncle, came to my mother’s aid by helping her with food and school fees. At 14 years, while I was in class six “uncle” asked that he foot the bills for my initiation into the bondo society.
“I did not fully recover from the wounds I sustained from the initiation; I was immediately married off to him. On the first night of our marriage he forced me to have sex with him and said that I was obliged as his wife to have sex with him. In the process I got pregnant.
“In the ninth month of my pregnancy, I was in terrible pain and the nurse said that my passage was too small and I almost died of birth complications. Thank God a doctor performed ‘Caesarian Operation’ on me and it was successful. How I wished I had the opportunity to say no to FGM! I would never have gone for that initiation”.
The Child Right Coalition Sierra Leone is a group comprising of non government and Civil Society Organizations. Its main goal is to monitor the Government of Sierra Leone’s action in living up to her obligation in promoting and defending the rights of children by the domestication, practice and application of the African Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nation’s Convention on the Right’s of the Child (UNCRC).
The Coalition applauds the Government of Sierra Leone effort in promoting the rights of children. However the coalition is calling on the Government to adhere to the recommendation of the 11th session on the Universal Periodic Review-a session for state parties to deliberate and take action on the situation of children at state level. At the moment, no concrete policy has been developed to fulfill government’s commitment to legislate against FGM for girls below 18 years. “We also totally condemn the activities of some politicians to use child FGM as a campaign strategy in the upcoming election.”
Going back to history (MADAM YOKO’S DAYS) the FGM initiation was never meant for children but was a non-formal education for young women as a right of passage to womanhood.
“Our call as a coalition is for the government to uphold children’s rights and dignity.”

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