There are approximately 250,000 people living in Colombia who identify as Embera-Chami, the only group known to have practised female genital cutting (FGC).
2018 population growth rate
Estimated prevalence among girls and women aged 15-49
There has been no national study of FGC conducted in Colombia.
Type I and II forms of FGC have been reported among the Embera-Chami tribe.
FGC is thought to typically be carried out within the first couple of weeks after birth.
2007 – Colombian national attention brought to the issue of FGC after death of a 15-day old baby girl from the Embera-Chami tribe
2007 – Legal case brought to judiciary after a doctor discovered three 17-day old girls had been cut. Judge Marino de Jesús Arcila Alzate stated that FGC is a “violation of girls’ and women’s rights” but did not initiate a criminal investigation because he determined there was no evidence of criminal intent. However, he urged the President of Colombia to develop a legal tool to support an end to the practice
2007/8 – Creation of Embera Wera (Embera Women) movement to support community-led change on FGC
2007 – Colombian authorities and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) worked with Embera communities to support abandonment of FGC
2010 – Leaders representing 25,000 Emberas living in two indigenous reserves in Risaralda province vowed to stop FGC in their communities
2012 – Embera tribe decided to sign agreement to ban FGC procedures