The CHAIN project

Preventing and fighting female genital mutilation and early and forced marriage in Europe

Violence against migrant women
Women’s Rights


European Commission-DG Justice and Consumers


Public authorities, Police, Social workers, Child protection officers, Antiviolence centers, Migration reception centers

Abstract of the project

The project aims at strengthening the prevention of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Early and Forced Marriage (EFM) through empowerment activities and awareness-raising, fostering behaviour change, providing protection and support for survivors and those at risk of FGM and EFM through competent and culturally-sensitive services and giving voice to community concerns and needs at the political level.

Context analysis

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Early and Forced Marriage (EFM) are serious human rights violations committed against girls and women. FGM and EFM represent two forms of gender-based violence that foster gender inequality, control and restrict female sexuality and violate the sexual and reproductive rights of girls and women. FGM is usually practiced on girls between 0 and 15 years whereas EFM mostly affects women and teenage girls. Both practices are deeply rooted in local cultures and traditions particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Despite the limited availability of data at the European level, it is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of women and girls who are survivors of FGM and tens of thousands more are at risk of EFM, in particular where there are considerable diaspora and migrant communities.

Milano, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy

Berlin, Germany

Madrid, Spain

Paris, France

Bruxelles, Belgium

The project is implemented in 5 EU Member States (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium). In Italy, the activities take place in the city of Milan.

Implementation Period

01/09/2020 - 31/08/2022



  • 32 Community Trainers trained on FGM/EFM 
  • 768 key professionals from public institutions and third sector trained on these issues and intervention procedures
  • 96 community leaders (religious/traditional leaders, community elders) sensitized on gender-based violence and these detrimental practices
  • 4000 community members reached by awareness-raising activities 


Members of targeted diaspora and migrant communities

Project Strategy


  • Trainings of Community Trainers 
  • Trainings for key professionals
  • Definition of standard procedures for prevention and protection (intervention chain) with local actors
  • Sensitization of community leaders 
  • Community empowerment activities
  • Awareness-raising campaigns 
  • Advocacy meetings and international conferences   


  • 4 intervention chain models developed to identify and respond to cases of women and girls at risk 
  • 1 Training Manual on EFM
  • 2 exchange meetings among the European project partners
  • 1 European community network of Community Trainers
  • 1 awareness-raising campaign adapted in four countries 
  • 4 bilateral advocacy meetings  at European level
  • 1 international conference 


  • Improved knowledge about FGM and EFM and the interconnection between them 
  • Improved interdisciplinary cooperation and more effective support offered to survivors of these procedures
  • Progressive behaviour change of practicing community and development of social norms against FGM and EFM 


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