Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:35 pm on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of Zac Goldsmith Zac Goldsmith Conservative, Richmond Park 7:35 pm, 11th March 2019

I thank my right hon. Friend for his intervention. I cannot give him a scientific answer, but I can tell him that the evidence the all-party group received from those people who have been through FGM absolutely concurs with what he has just said: there are parts of the establishment and social services, and people within the education system, who are very nervous indeed about pointing the finger on FGM. There is a concern about trampling on cultural sensitivities. The view of the people we talked to, like my view and, I suspect, that of many in the House today, is that those sensitivities should be pushed to one side. This is a very direct form of child abuse; child abuse is child abuse, and it is our responsibility as adults and the authorities to stamp it out at every opportunity. That message has been unambiguous, in all the evidence we have taken from those people who have been through FGM.