Illustrative Examples of Criminal Code Definitions:
2. . . . “female genital mutilation” comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs, or any harmful procedure to the female genitalia, for non-medial reason, and includes –
(a) clitoridectomy, which is the partial or total removal of the clitoris or the prepuce;
(b) excision, which is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora;
(c) infibulation, which is the narrowing of the vaginal orifice with the creation of a covering seal by cutting and appositioning the labia minora or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris, . . .
Anyone who damages or attempts to damage the integrity of the female genital organ by total or partial removal or one or more of its elements, by infibulation, desentisation or any other means, shall be punishable by imprisonment ranging from six months to five years. The maximum punishment shall apply when these sexual mutilations have been practised or facilitated by a member of the medical or paramedical profession. When they have caused death, the penalty of hard labour for life shall always be applied. The same penalties shall apply to any person who, through gifts, promises, influence, threat, intimidation, abuse of authority or power, caused such genital mutilations to happen or instructs others to practise them.
268.(1) Everyone commits an aggravated assault who wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the complainant.
(2) Every one who commits an aggravated assault is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
(3) For greater certainty, in this section, “wounds” or “maims” includes to excise, infibulate or mutilate, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of a person, except where
(a) a surgical procedure is performed, by a person duly qualified by provincial law to practise medicine, for the benefit of the physical health of the person or for the purpose of that person having normal reproductive functions or normal sexual appearance or function; or
(b) the person is at least eighteen years of age and there is no resulting bodily harm.
(4) For the purposes of this section . . . , no consent to the excision, infibulation or mutilation, in whole or in part, of the labia majora, labia minora or clitoris of a person is valid, except in the cases described in paragraphs (3)(a) and (b).
1 Offence of female genital mutilation
(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he excises, infibulates or otherwise mutilates the whole or any part of a girl’s labia majora, labia minora or clitoris.
(2) But no offence is committed by an approved person who performs—
(a) a surgical operation on a girl which is necessary for her physical or mental health, or
(b) a surgical operation on a girl who is in any stage of labour, or has just given birth, for purposes connected with the labour or birth.
(3) The following are approved persons—
(a) in relation to an operation falling within subsection (2)(a), a registered medical practitioner,
(b) in relation to an operation falling within subsection (2)(b), a registered medical practitioner, a registered midwife or a person undergoing a course of training with a view to becoming such a practitioner or midwife.
(4) There is also no offence committed by a person who—
(a) performs a surgical operation falling within subsection (2)(a) or (b) outside the United Kingdom, and
(b) in relation to such an operation exercises functions corresponding to those of an approved person.
(5) For the purpose of determining whether an operation is necessary for the mental health of a girl it is immaterial whether she or any other person believes that the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual.
Punishment of Parents, Family Members and Others
Legislation should provide for criminal liability of parents, family members and others who:
(See Aiding and Abetting and Duty to Report section below.)
(1) Who knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora, or clitoris of a female under 18 years of age;
(2) Who is a parent, guardian, or has immediate custody or control of a female under 18 years of age and knowingly consents to or permits the circumcision, excision, or infibulation, in whole or in part, of the labia majora, labia minora, or clitoris of such female; or
(3) Who knowingly removes or causes or permits the removal of a female under 18 years of age from this state for the purpose of circumcising, excising, or infibulating, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora, or clitoris of such female shall be guilty of female genital mutilation.
(b) A person convicted of female genital mutilation shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years.
(c) This Code section shall not apply to procedures performed by or under the direction of a physician, a registered professional nurse, a certified nurse midwife, or a licensed practical nurse licensed pursuant to Chapter 34 or 26, respectively, of Title 43 when necessary to preserve the physical health of the female. This Code section shall also not apply to any autopsy or limited dissection as defined by Code Section 45-16-21 which is conducted in accordance with Article 2 of Chapter 16 of Title 45.
(d) Consent of the female under 18 years of age or the parent, guardian, or custodian of the female under 18 years of age shall not be a defense to the offense of female genital mutilation. Religion, ritual, custom, or standard practice shall not be a defense to the offense of female genital mutilation.
(e) The statutory privileges provided by Chapter 9 of Title 24 shall not apply to proceedings in which one of the parties to the privilege is charged with a crime against a female under 18 years of age, but such person shall be compellable to give evidence only on the specific act for which the defendant is charged. (Emphasis added).
Several countries or states have laws that expand liability to “any” individual. Such language could be used to hold parents and family members potentially criminally liable for the practice of FGM. See the following examples:
However, some countries in their sentencing policies and practice focus on maintaining the “the best interests of the child” as the guiding principle when assessing criminal liability for parents who procure FGM for their daughters. Imposing long prison sentences may cause a greater burden for the child. Other penalties may be sought for parents in those cases. France, for example, has prosecuted parents for obtaining FGM for their daughters, but generally criminal penalties have not been assigned. Instead, the most severe penalties have been imposed on the practitioner while parents received a lighter or suspended sentence and serve little or no jail time.
Illustrative Examples of punishment of parents