16 August 2016, 14:48
HRC promises to tackle female circumcision in the Caucasus
The topic of female genital cutting (circumcision), raised by rights defenders, should be discussed by a narrow circle of experts, said Anita Soboleva, a member of the Human Rights Council (HRC) under the President of Russia.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on August 15 the "Legal Initiative for Russia" (LIfR) posted on its website the outcomes of its study of the practice of female circumcision widespread in Dagestan. The report states that in Dagestan the practice of female genital mutilation, practiced with the support of the official clergy and considered by the republic's population as a religious duty. Rights defenders have proposed to criminalize the female circumcision and to organize a broad public debate of the issue.
The above Anita Soboleva, a HRC member and the Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Rights, has spoken against the female circumcision. However, she believes that the topic should be discussed by a narrow circle of experts, so as not to lead to an increased popularity of this procedure.
She added that the HRC would not make any loud statements on the matter.
"The problem is latent; it doesn't get beyond communities; and I fear that males from radical communities will read about it; and, at the background of fighting domestic violence, it'll be another way to abuse women. And the custom will creep to those places, where it wasn't used before. We should be very careful here," Ms Soboleva has stressed.
She has noted that a legislative ban will not eradicate this tradition, since girls' circumcision is made with their parents' consent.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.