Inter-African Committee on Harmful Practices IAC

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The Inter-African Committee on traditional practices affecting the health of women and children (IAC) is an African regional umbrella body that has been working on policy programmes and actions to eliminate female genital mutilation, child marriage and other harmful traditional practices and to promote the positive ones in the African Region for the last 30 years.


- Demystification of female genital mutilation
- Inclusion of female genital mutilation in the programmes of Governments and regional and international organisations;
- Mobilization of African communities, e.g. the public laying down of the excision knives by excisers in several countries: Benin, Chad, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo…
- Involvement of various socio-professional groups, i.e. creation of networks of religious leaders, youth, media professionals, health professionals and parliamentarians;
- Creation of alternative income-generating activities for former excisers;
- Assistance to victims of female genital mutilation;
- Participation in the conception and adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, on the Rights of Women;
- Proposition and advocacy resulting in the adoption of February 6th as the International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM
- Proposition and advocacy resulting of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the elimination of FGM (A/RES/67/146)


E-mail: Headquarters Office
Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices (IAC)
Tel/Fax: (+251)-11-551 57 93

Liaison Office:
Inter-African Committee (IAC),
Chemin de Balexert, 9
CH-1219, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: (+41)-22-797 16 80 / 797 16 81
Fax: (+41)-22-797 1682

Menelik Avenue
ECA/ Africa Hall
Addis Abeba

IAC was formed on February 6, 1984 by African delegates to a seminar organised by a United Nations NGO Working Group on Traditional Practices based in Geneva, with the support of UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and the Government of Senegal.

President is Ms Mariam Lamizana
Executive Director is Dr Morissanda Kouyaté

The IAC is organised as follows:

- A General Assembly which consists of all the national committees and affiliates;
- The Executive Board (consisting of members from 5 African countries and 7 zone coordinators elected by the General Assembly);
- The Executive Direction (secretariat) that includes all technical staff in Addis Ababa and Geneva;
- National committees and affiliates
- The Inter-African Committee has also established a scientific committee to:
give scientific support to activities, projects and programmes;
make scientific analysis of results; failures and successes;
provide scientific support in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of activities;
carry out operational and fundamental research on HTPs/FGM.

The IAC has created various networks including regional and national networks of religious leaders, parliamentarians, media professionals, health professionals and youth.

Thousands of volunteers are participating in the work of IAC in all the countries in Africa and around the world.



FGM is one of the worst forms of gender based violence and perpetuated across the world. Each year FGM will claim the lives or hamper the physical and psychological health of millions of women and girls for non-medical reasons. Our information centre is a contribution to the complete abandoning of FGM.

Les MGF sont une des pires formes de violence basée sur le genre et se perpétue partout à travers le monde. Chaque année les MGF vont ôter la vie, ou endommager la santé physique et psychologique de millions de femmes et de jeunes filles pour des raisons non médicales. Notre centre d'information est une contribution à l’abandon complet des MGF.