Staunton, June 2 – A year ago, the Legal Initiative group published a report on genital mutilation in the North Caucasus, a practice more typically associated with Asian and African countries but to which, the group documented, over 1200 Russian citizens have been subjected to (srji.org/about/annual/proizvodstvo-kalechashchikh-operatsiy-na-polovykh-organakh-u-devochek-1-otchet/).
That report attracted widespread attention and outrage inside Russia and internationally and led to proposals to outlaw a practice that some Muslim leaders and some Russian officials is a national tradition. A measure was introduced in the Duma to ban the practice, but it was shelved without action (mbk.media/suzhet/gosudarstvo-ne-reshilo-problemu/).
Now the Legal Initiative Group has carried out a second investigation which reports that the practice has become rarer in most parts of the North Caucasus but remains quite widespread and publicly acknowledge in highland Daghestan (srji.org/about/annual/strategii-protivodeystviya-FGM-proizvodstvo_kalechashchikh_operatsiy_sji/).
Many Muslim leaders in Russia, the Presidential Human Rights Council, and the Russian health ministry have spoken out against the practice; but so far, their arguments have not found support among Duma legislators or the Kremlin officials who oversee them. One can only hope that this year’s report will change that and the practice will be outlawed.