November 28, 2012 — The United Nations General Assembly's human rights committee on Monday for the first time adopted a resolution that advocates for a global ban on female genital mutilation, the AP/Miami Herald reports.
The resolution states that the practice is harmful and a serious threat to women and girls' psychological, sexual and reproductive health. It calls on the U.N.'s 193 member states to condemn the practice and launch educational campaigns to eliminate FGM. In addition, the committee asks that all countries enact and enforce legislation against FGM.
The full General Assembly is expected to approve the resolution during the latter half of December, according to the AP/Herald. Although not legally binding, the resolution is reflective of international concerns and carries moral and political weight.
The U.N. estimated that in 2010 about 70 million women and girls were subjected to FGM, while the World Health Organization said that about 6,000 undergo FGM daily. According to Amnesty International, the procedure is common in 28 African countries, as well as in Yemen, Iraq, Indonesia and among some ethnic groups in South America (Lederer, AP/Miami Herald, 11/26).