The Malick Jallow Foundation for Children (MJFC) welcomes the recent and first judicial decision enforcing the penal ban on female genital mutilation in the Gambia which came into force since 2016 by Magistrate Kanjura B. Sambou of the Central River Region and conviction of three perpetrators to a fine of GMD 15,000.0 each or in default to serve one year imprisonment.
MJFC, whose Founder Malick H.B Jallow Esq. significantly participated and provided technical expertise through the European Union Access to Justice project in reforming the law on FGM-C in the Gambia, is pleased with this development and congratulates all the stakeholders who collaborated to ensure enforcement of the law banning FGM-C in this matter and hope it sets an inspiring precedent moving forward.MJFC equally acknowledges the judicial courage and principled stance in enforcing the law on such a contentious, controversial and deeply seated practice.
Finally MJFC urges the national assembly and the executive to ensure timely reform of the law on FGM-C to ensure that legislative gaps are addressed. In particular the present law does not provide for FGM perpetrated by Gambians beyond the territorial waters of The Gambia. This can lead to perpetrators and accomplices choosing to carry out the practice away from The Gambia to other jurisdictions were the practice is either tolerated or not prohibited. It is therefore important, at least for deterrent purposes to ensure that the law punishes Gambians who decide to practice FGM in another jurisdiction. Under the French penal code any act of FGM committed in another country by a France citizen can be prosecuted in France. A similar provision would maximize the potency of the new law criminalizing FGM in the Gambia