Female Genital Mutilation an abhorrent crime – Featherstone

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone has described Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) as “an abhorrent crime” and warned that “those found to practice it should feel the full force of the law.”

She said the UK government is “working with UK and international agencies to help prevent women and girls being subjected to this horrific practice.”

Equalities-Minister-Lynne-Featherstone

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone

A new pocket guide to the UK law on Female Genital Mutilation will be soon be made available to girls at risk to help them speak out against the practice, Ms. Featherstone announced said.

The leaflet “A Declaration Against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) for Families and Girls”, is designed to slip in the back of a passport allowing girls to present it as a formal document to friends or family reminding them that FGM is against the law in the UK.

It will also set out what the penalties are for offenders, including a maximum 14 year custodial sentence, as well as advice on help and support.

On 4th July 2012 the minister met with a group of young people who work closely with girls affected by FGM. Representatives from Integrate Bristol and Daughters of Eve shared their views on how the issue affects their communities and told the minister what they have achieved locally with victims and potential victims, with the help of government funding.

The minister praised the efforts of all those working with affected communities and shared details on what is being done by the government to help tackle this abhorrent crime.

This includes a programme of awareness and community support activities over the summer, such as working with the Metropolitan Police on awareness training, creating a short film on FGM, distributing information leaflets in various languages to help victims and publishing guidelines for frontline staff to help them identify women and girls at risk.