Female Genital Mutilation

Home Department written question – answered on 20th March 2014.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Public Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) if she will bring forward legislative proposals to make the reporting of female genital mutilation cases mandatory for all public sector workers;

(2) if she will bring forward legislative proposals to make conspiring to perform female genital mutilation a criminal offence.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Minister of State, Home Department

holding answer 18 March 2014

Performing FGM has been a specific criminal offence since the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. Conspiring to perform FGM is also an offence. Moreover, the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 made it an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out FGM abroad or to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where FGM is legal.

The Ministry of Justice and the Home Office are currently considering proposals from the Director of Public Prosecutions on whether the criminal law can be further strengthened and is also considering whether a civil law remedy might provide an additional tool to tackle FGM.

Under section 47 of the Children Act 1989, anyone who has information that a child is potentially or actually at risk of significant harm is required to inform social care or the police. FGM is child abuse and the robust frameworks which place clear statutory duties on local authorities and other agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children are equally applicable to FGM.

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