Analysis of Laws in Selected Countries Around the World

  • Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala
  • Paul Nzinga Komba


In the majority of African countries, ordinary criminal laws exist that would treat FGM as a form of bodily harm, sexual violence and abuse against females. However, under the international pressure and for the avoidance of any doubt, many states on the continent have passed specific legislation, which targets this particular crime. Yet, as will be apparent in this chapter, the FGM practice is one of those crimes, which has escaped the reaches of the criminal justice system in the majority of African jurisdictions. We will consider both the law and practice in those countries, which have been designed as rife with incidences of FGM and sexual violence against women. It has been previously noted by some scholars (Shell-Duncan et al. 2014) that criminal law is not the right vehicle to eliminate FGM. We think that the law is necessary in all cases. Another view proposed by others is that it would be rational to reform the criminal justice system and to rebuild the eroding trust among the users of the system (Carline and Easteal 2014). That would include rethinking the way in which the system deals with witnesses of FGM and scrapping the requirement that victims must pay for access to civil remedies. We argue for the latter view because of its vital insight into how the law can effectively benefit the victims, especially during the transition to the elimination of the practice through educational methods suggested by the former view.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala
    • 1
  • Paul Nzinga Komba
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics Physics and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and EnvironmentNorthumbria UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Wolfson CollegeCambridgeUK

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