Italian Law n°7/2006 (introducing Article 583 bis (Female Genital Mutilation Practices) and Article 583 ter (Ancillary Penalties) in the Criminal Code)
Law n°7/2006 introduces the following two articles in the Criminal Code: 583 bis (Female Genital Mutilation Practices, and 583 ter (Ancillary Penalties). Art. 583 bis establishes punishment by imprisonment from 4 to 12 years to whoever, without any therapeutic need, would cause mutilation to female genitals; the second Paragraph sanctions with imprisonment from 3 to 7 years whoever (without any therapeutic needs) would cause "harms" to female genitals different from the ones listed in the previous paragraph and bringing to physical or psychological illness. Punishment may be reduced to 2/3 in case of minor harm; third Paragraph: punishment is increased by 1/3 when FGM are practised on children/underage or for profit. According to art. 583 ter, sentence against a professional working in the health care sector leads to disqualification from the profession for 3 to 10 years, communicated to the National Medical Association. An administrative responsibility is also recognised to the structure where the banned practice has taken place.
Applicability of the principle of extraterritoriality
Art. 583 bis/IV Paragraph, the extraterritoriality principle is recognized and sanctions are applicable even when FGM are practised abroad either by an Italian citizen or by a foreign citizen living in Italy, causing harm to an Italian citizen or to a foreign citizen living in Italy.
Types of FGM addressed
"clitoridectomy; excision; infibulation and whatever other practice causing similar effects"
Number of court cases
Sentence n° 279, Tribunale di Verona, est. Ferrara condemned a Nigerian woman for having violated art. 583 bis (comma 1, on genital mutilation). (See column K). Brunelli (2011) comments how in spite of the fact the victim was subjected to sunna or superficial harm of the clitoris, the sentence did not applied comma 2 on genital modifications but comma 1. This confirms how what is motivating the norm is not the seriousness of the harm in itself but the intention of controlling women's' sexualities.
Number of FGM cases registered with judicial authorities
Reported in Giordano & De Masellis (2011): in 2006 the National Journalistic Agency (ANSA) reported the case of a Nigerian woman in Verona arrested for having violated Law 7/2006 by the Police for having tried to practice FGM (sunna) on a 14 months baby girl as her parents asked for. Investigations proved that she just recently did he same with another toddler and she was getting paid 300 Euro each time (parents were denounced too). Final judgement from the Court of Verona came only in 2010, and the woman was condemned for being guilty of violating art. 583 bis, par. 2 of the penal code as far as "genital harm" is concerned. This was the first and only national case implying the application of Law 6/2007 (see column I)
Brunelli (2007); Giordano & De Masellis (2011); Miazzi (2010)
Date of entering into force