Baroness Cox joined a debate on Female Genital Mutilation

November 29th, 2013

Baroness Cox joined a debate on Female Genital Mutilation

Yesterday in the House of Lord, Baroness Cox joined a short debate on Female Genital Mutilation. The question, proposed by Lord Berkeley of Knighton, asked the British Government ‘why there have been no prosecutions for female genital mutilation?

Lord Berkeley added that while ‘this practice has been illegal [in the UK] for more than a decade, an estimated 60,000 women [now living] in this country have suffered this barbaric practice and 30,000 young children may be at risk of it.’

Lord Taylor of Holbeach replied on behalf of the Government, stating that ‘there is no lack of determination as far as the Government are concerned. My colleague in the Home Office, Norman Baker, is having a meeting on 5 December with the Crown Prosecution Service. The Health Minister, Jane Ellison, is having a meeting on Monday to see how her department can deal with this.’

Baroness Cox spoke to draw attention to gaps in the system, commenting ‘that women who have had FGM and whose daughters are likely to be at risk of subjection to this abhorrent practice are not currently tracked through the NHS or social care systems so that no preventative measures can be implemented, and that girls at school who show signs of having had FGM are not referred to social services or the police for follow-up action…’

Baroness Cox argued for greater cooperation ‘to ensure that robust information-sharing protocols are developed between health, social care and education agencies and the police so that appropriate actions can be taken to support victims and bring perpetrators to account.’

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To watch full debate click here

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