Informations and abstract
Keywords: Rights, multiculturalism, genital mutilation
The article analyses the problematic aspects of Law 7/2006 on prevention and prohibition of female genital mutilation. In particular, it stresses its strong repressive approach. In fact, Law 7/2006 introduces a new crime regarding female genital mutilation, even though Italian penal law already granted protection under other provisions. Moreover, the article underlines that victims' rights are not properly protected under the new Law. Notwithstanding the above mentioned deficiencies, the article identifies a series of traditional legal instruments that may be used by Courts to protect individual rights. First of all, judges may recognize the status of refugee to women willing to break away from genital mutilation practices (even when the latter regards their children) by declaring that they "belong to a particular social group", as provided for by art. 1(A)2 of the Geneva Convention. Second, Courts may apply art. 19 of legislative decree 268/1998 on immigration that prohibits to deport, or to deny entry into Italy, to someone that may be persecuted in his country of origin for sexual reasons. Third, judges may apply articles 342 bis and 342 ter of the Civil Code regarding restrictive orders to protect the family, and also art. 330 and subsequent provisions of the Civil Code, which deal with the loss of parental legal authority so as to protect minors.