Knowledge transfer

Material for intervention with families

The Foundation has put together material for working on the topic of FGM with immigrant families, and for helping the population in general to become aware of it.

Designed as a tool for preventive intervention in FGM, it lends support to professionals working directly with families and communities of Sub-Saharan origin. It helps them tackle topics related to FGM: which countries it takes place in, beliefs associated with it, effects on health, and legal implications.

It is available in two languages, Spanish and English, to facilitate communication between Spanish professionals and English-speaking migrants.

The Preventive Commitment is a tool that has been integrated into the common Protocol for Health Action for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) (Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality of Spain, 2015) at the state level, and in various autonomous protocols and municipal. It is available both for professionals and for families traveling to their countries of origin.

This is a document designed in 1998 by an interdisciplinary group of professionals, advised by Dr. Adriana Kaplan, who empirically contrasted its use through the cases of 11 families, from 6 different villages, who would travel to Senegal and Gambia with their daughters. Dr. Kaplan followed up, visited families during the trip, studied how they used it, and verified its effectiveness.

This document model has been replicated in Belgium, with the name Stop FGM Passport and in the United Kingdom, where it is known as Statement Opposing FGM

The Guide for the application of the Preventive Commitment for Primary Health Care professionals (Wassu Foundation, 2019) links the use of the document with the work of prevention, making special emphasis that the signing of the letter is not an aim in itself, but It is the culmination of a process of awareness from the professional with families, and not the first element of contact.

Other aspects to highlight, which can be extracted from the guide, are: it refers to the need to develop effective interventions at various levels and with interdisciplinary participation of the professional groups involved; underlines the importance of avoiding, with an appropriate approach, the judicialization of risk cases; acceptance and signing of the Preventive Commitment are voluntary; the letter is the property of the girls's parents or guardians and must have the same degree of protection and confidentiality as the rest of the documentation in the medical record.

Application guide

This pamphlet was prepared by GIPE-PTP for the Catalan Health Institute. It is a useful tool for professionals working with migrant families, helping them to tackle various aspects of FGM, such as beliefs about the practice, its impact on health and its legal implications.