29.1.2015. By Stop FGM Middle East.
Last week, the United Nations Human Rights Committee has demanded that Indonesia submits its overdue report on Human Rights. According to the UNHR Committee the development in Indonesia is not positive except concerning female genital mutilation (FGM). In contradiction to this statement Stop FGM Middle East points out that FGM has unfortunately not been abandoned, the legal situation is vague and girls are still regularly mutilated.
According to the Jakarta Post, “the four urgent recommendations from the UNHR Committee are the abolition of the death penalty, the repeal of Law No. 1/1965 on defamation of religion, the abolition of female genital mutilation practices and the prosecution of cases involving past human rights violations, including the murder of prominent human rights activist Munir Said Thalib in 2004.”
“From these four recommendations, only the practice of female genital mutilation had been abolished with the repeal of the Health Ministry’s regulation No. 1636/2010 that authorized the performance of female genital mutilation by medical practitioners.”
“That’s a positive development. But there are also some regressions, such as the death penalty, and
some issues that are stagnant,” UNHR Committee member Victor Manuel Rodrigues-Rescia told The Jakarta Post.”
It is true that in February 2014 the Indonesian Health Ministry revoked the 2010 regulation which allowed medical professionals to perform FGM. However, the new regulation does not ban all forms of FGM but specifies „any practice of female circumcision should be done with regard for the health and safety of the girl or woman“. The government has promised to pass detailed regulations on what it considers healthy and safe in this respect, but has not done so until now. Thus, at this point no reliable ban on FGM is in place which leaves it to practitioners what they consider healthy.
Even if such regulations are passed the value will be questionable. Any cut of the female genitalia is harmful and it is almost impossible to control such regulations. Therefore, Stop FGM Middle East and others demand that Indonesia bans all forms of FGM. The UN Committee on Human Rights has expressed a similar opinion in a statement in June 2014:
“The Committee notes the State party’s decision to revoke Regulation No. 1636 of 2010 on female circumcision, through Ministry of Health Regulation No. 6 of 2014. However, the Committee notes that FGM is not explicitly prohibited, including the practice of so-called female circumcision, and is gravely concerned about the high number of girls who have become victims to female genital mutilation (FGM).”
It is surprising that they changed their opinion even if nothing has changed.