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Culturally motivated crimes against women in a multicultural Europe

The case of criminalization of FGM in the 2011 CoE Istanbul Convention 

Sara De Vido    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



The so-called ‘culturally motivated crime’ is a phenomenon related to multicultural- ism, that can be analysed with a special focus on a conduct committed against women: female genital mutilation. The choice of dealing with such sensitive topic derives from a provision of the recent CoE Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Do- mestic Violence (hereina er CoE Istanbul Convention), in force as of August 2014, which obliges States parties to criminalize female genital mutilation, and from the practice of European States mainly related to asylum and refugee status. An attempt to explain why the protection of core rights, like the prohibition of inhuman treatment and the protection of the physical integrity of a person, prevails in Europe over other considerations related to the (human) right to cultural diversity will be presented. Nevertheless, it will be also argued that, due to the growing presence of immigrant communities, the mere repression is not enough, but it should be accompanied by measures aimed at developing the knowledge of human rights. 


Keywords: Istanbul conventionFemale genital mutilationWomenMulticulturalism

Copyright: © 2015 Sara De Vido. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.