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Protecting girls from FGM

The Tanzania Sexual Offenses (Special Provisions) Act, 1998 (SOSPA) was passed to specifically address sexual offense abuses, include Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Under SOSPA, it is an offence to perform FGM on anyone under the age of 18 years. Anyone found guilty of the offence faces criminal prosecution and term of imprisonment of not more than five years. The sentence may also be imposed by a fine or both a fine and imprisonment.

Despite this, sadly FGM is still practice. However there are options girls that are facing the risk of undergoing this procedure can consider.

At every police station in Tanzania there is a Gender and Children Desk where one can report instances of FGM. Here, the parent will be called and order not to mutilate the child. If the cutting has already taken place legal action could see the matter to go to the court. If found guilty, you face a conviction of 5 to 15 years imprisonment.

Sadly, many girls have to resort to running away from home. In Tanzania there are several shelters for girls including The Association of Termination of Female Genital Mutilation (ATFGM) and the Network Against Female Genital Multilation (NAFGERM).

Inherit Your Rights can also provide advice and assistance. Contact us today for legal assistance.

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