Synopsis Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a practice that has been around for millions of years, mainly in African and Middle East countries. It is recognized by the WHO and the UN as one of the procedures that most affects the health of millions of women and children. If before it was limited to a part of the globe, today on account of the constant migratory fluxes from Africa, more and more westernized countries recognize that FGM is a recurrent practice in their territories, brought by the miscellaneous ethnical communities that regard this ritual as a part of their cultural identity. In such a way as to eliminate this practice, there are many international and regional instruments that condemn it, demanding its criminalization by the states in which FGM is conducted, as well as the raising of awareness in their societies in regard to the ritual’s consequences that go against what we recognize as Human Rights, mainly women and children’s. The WHO considers Portugal a country at risk in terms of female genital mutilation, since it is a host country for African immigrants to whom FGM is a reality. In addition to the overall framework regarding the practise of female genital mutilation across the world, and more specifically in Portugal, this thesis also intends to present the reasons behind the introduction, in August 2015, of the Article 144-A in the portuguese Penal Code, taking into account the political debates that took place in 2004 and 2014.
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