Contact person:
Sara Johnsdotter
  • Forte – Swedish Research Council for Health Working life and Welfare
Responsible at MaU:
Sara Johnsdotter
Project members at MaU:
Time frame:
01 January 2020 - 31 December 2023
Research subject:

About the project

The aim of this project is to investigate Swedish authorities’ handling of suspected cases of female genitalmutilation from a jurisprudential perspective, with a focus on the legal principle of proportionality. The study is conducted by an anthropologist and a jurist. Authority documents such as criminal investigations and childprotection actions at suspicion of committed or pending female genital mutilation will be analysed as well as interviews with professionals in the police and social authorities. We have an archive, which is unique both at anational and international level, which covers all the police files that exist since the law banning female genital mutilation was introduced in 1982.

Theoretically the project has its starting point in a legal perspective focusing the principle of proportionality. The following questions guide the study: How much state invasion of privacy of individuals, according to the professionals, is proportionate to the interest of checking for an inadmissible practice? How do officials balance between conflicting laws when they handle cases of suspected female genitalmutilation? How do public ideas about the scope of the problem in Sweden affect the choices made about actionsin the specific cases?

The project will in its final phase include round-table discussions with key actors in this field, such as the National Board of Health and Welfare, the National Police Board, Sweden's Municipalities and County Councils, and the Ombudsman against Discrimination, at which results from the project and their possible implications are discussed. During the entire project, there will be collaboration with an international advisory board with British,Spanish, and Australian researchers, who conduct similar studies in their countries.