Improving the consideration of FGM in Belgium

In the context of the upcoming Belgian Federal elections on 26 May 2019, GAMS Belgium has published an advocacy note for an improved policy for taking female genital mutilation into account.

According to the latest estimates (2016), more than 17,000 women living in Belgium are affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) and more than 8,000 girls are at risk. These girls and women need effective protection and quality multidisciplinary care.

Prevention and care

The resources allocated to preventing and tackling FGM in Belgium, even more in Flanders, are insufficient.

We want the Belgian State to establish:

  • A national policy to protect girls at risk
  • A multidisciplinary care system for affected women


  • By organising a round table with a diverse panel of experts at Belgian and international levels
  • By providing enough financial means to specialised organisations in Belgium

Forced marriage is GBV

Forced marriage is a widespread reason for fleeing and is faced by many women affected by FGM.  Still, forced marriage remains hard to prove for a woman who applies for international protection.

We want the Belgian State to:

  • Promote a gender-based approach in the processing of applications for international protection
  • Recognise forced marriage as a gender-based violence.

Protecting girls at risk of FGM

Girls living in Belgium are still at risk of FGM during holiday spent abroad. They may also be facing sexual violence, rarely detected and handled.

We ask for systematic trainings of front-line professionals in tackling gender-based violence, especially female genital mutilation.

Dublin Regulation and violence

So-called “undocumented” women, with a precarious residency status, are left vulnerable. They often face others forms of violence, including gender-based violence.

For women who depend on the Dublin III Regulation, we ask for a flexible, humane and supportive application of it. This in recognition of the vulnerability of migrant women facing gender-based violence.

GAMS Belgium also supports:

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