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Children: Female Genital Mutilation

Department for Education written question – answered on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Jenkin of Kennington Baroness Jenkin of Kennington Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of instances of taking children into care under safeguarding law in relation to female genital mutilation (FGM) (1) before, during and after a prosecution for FGM, irrespective of the outcome of the investigation and prosecution, and (2) in cases when family members are willing and able to take responsibility for them.

Photo of Baroness Jenkin of Kennington Baroness Jenkin of Kennington Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of instances of taking children into care under safeguarding law in relation to female genital mutilation (FGM) only on the basis of risk factors, such as the fact that the child’s mother had been subject to FGM, without direct evidence that the child is going to be subjected to FGM.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

This information is not held centrally. Data on children being taken into care does not identify the cases where female genital mutilation (FGM) was the reason for the child going into care.

FGM is child abuse and it is illegal. The government is determined to eradicate FGM here and abroad and it cannot be condoned or ignored on the basis of it being a 'cultural tradition'. Services should safeguard children from this abuse as from any other form of abuse. The statement of the knowledge and skills required by child and family social workers includes that they should be able to take account of harmful practices in specific communities such as female genital mutilation.

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