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Côte d'Ivoire: Update to CIV35296.E of 15 September 2000 on state protection available to women facing forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM); organizations that assist women in these areas

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 15 November 2002
Citation / Document Symbol CIV40345.E
Reference 7
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Côte d'Ivoire: Update to CIV35296.E of 15 September 2000 on state protection available to women facing forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM); organizations that assist women in these areas, 15 November 2002, CIV40345.E, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

In addition to the information contained in CIV35296.E of 15 September 2000, Country Reports 2001 states that "the law forbids and provides criminal penalties for forced or early marriage" (2002, 202).

The Association for the Defense of Women (AIDF) "works to raise awareness; [it] holds seminars on the subject" and "leads [the] fight against medicalization of FGM" (United States 2001, 30-31). The Republican Sisters is another women's organization that reportedly assists the AIDF in seeking justice for rape victims (Country Reports 2001 2002, 202).

In July 2000, the AIDF set up a national committee with members of the national and international institutions in Abidjan, with the aim of fighting violence against women (ibid., 203). According to the Minister of Family, Women and Children's Affairs, the committee receives daily pleas for help from women facing forced marriages and domestic violence (ibid.). In 2001, a few committee members reportedly visited families to mediate. Where the negotiations were unsuccessful, the committee members referred the matter to the police and justice system (ibid.). However, the committee was not in a position to respond to urgent calls from rural areas because it lacked means of transport (ibid.).

Country Reports 2001 states that although the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) is becoming less popular, and the law specifically forbids it, subjecting those who perform it to criminal penalties and fines, it continues in some places. This source also states that the practice was carried out on approximately 200 girls in the northern and western parts of the country (ibid.). Due to the active campaign carried out by the government and non-governmental organizations, however, "several practitioners were arrested in the north for performing excisions," and in January 2001, a woman was still serving a sentence at the Abidjan House of Arrest and Corrections (MACA) (ibid., 203).   

Additional and/or corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.

United States (US). Department of State. 2001. Prevalence of the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); Laws Prohibiting FGM and Their Enforcement; Recommendations on How to Best Work to Eliminate FGM. Report Prepared by the Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues, Office of the Under Secretary for Global Affairs. [Accessed 22 Oct. 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Confidential

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series

IRB Databases


New African

Resource Centre. Country Files: Ivory Coast.

WIN News

Internet sites, including:

All Africa

Relief Web

Search engine:


Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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