Archive for the ‘FGM’ Category

FGM awareness campaign launched across UK as illegal practice remains ‘cloaked in secrecy

A campaign raising awareness of the dangers of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been launched by the government as the practice remains “cloaked in secrecy”.

As many as 100,000 women and girls in the UK are estimated to have undergone the illegal procedure, but a fraction of that number have disclosed it to the NHS.

Despite the strengthening of laws, there has not yet been a successful prosecution over FGM and campaigners have said education will be a more effective way of stopping the practice.

Police operations have focused on preventing girls being taken abroad to undergo FGM, but a survivor told The Independent that “cutters” are also being flown into the UK to carry out procedures to order.

Hoda Ali, an activist who works in safeguarding in the London borough of Ealing, said: “The reality is we need to open our eyes. We don’t need to think just about far-away countries because right now we have girls who are in their late teens or even early 20s who were cut in this country. They are British girls who were born here and they were cut here.”

The Home Office’s awareness campaign, called Let’s Protect Our Girls, will target parents and community elders in practising communities mainly from Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Iraq, Gambia and Nigeria.

Burkina Faso botched FGM leaves 50 girls in hospital

Around 50 girls are being treated in hospital in Burkina Faso after botched circumcisions, or female genital mutilation (FGM), a minister says.

Not all girls who underwent the circumcision have been traced, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Laurence Marshall Ilboudo, said.

Two 60-year-old women, along with the parents of some of the girls, have been arrested.

FGM has been illegal in Burkina Faso since 1996.

Offenders face up to three years in prison.

About three-quarters of women and girls in Burkina Faso have undergone circumcision, but only 9% favour the practice, according to UN children agency Unicef.

The circumcisions took place in the Kaya area, about 100km (60 miles) north of the capital, Ouagadougou, between 4 and 6 September.

Some of the victims are as young as four years, authorities say.

A dozen girls have been admitted to the Kaya Regional Hospital and 38 to the Chiphra Protestant Hospital in the capital.

Some of the girls had suffered serious complications, Dr Dieudonne Ouedraogo told the BBC.

Allowing children to marry brings shame on Britain

Since becoming an MP, much of my time has been spent campaigning to prevent child abuse and to protect women and girls from violence. I have been outspoken against child marriage, which is often forced marriage and has devastating consequences. Unicef estimates there are 12 million child marriages in the world every year — that is 23 girls every minute. Such marriages can result in early pregnancy, social isolation, interrupted schooling, limited career opportunities and increased risk of domestic violence.

Girls ‘being pressured into FGM in UK playgrounds’, survivor warns amid international crackdown

Girls are being pressured to undergo female genital mutilation(FGM) in British playgrounds, a survivor has warned amid an international crackdown on the practice.

Dr Leyla Hussein, who underwent the procedure when she was seven years old in Somalia, said pressure was being put on children by their peers as well as relatives.

“Some of my clients are 19-year-old girls who were children or were born in this country, and they will say they were pressured in a playground in a school in London to go and have it done,” she added, urging people in affected communities to confront the idea of FGM as a “tradition”.

“We really have to be forceful in protecting children, and unfortunately I will be upsetting people but I personally don’t care if I’m going to upset some community leader….we cannot tiptoe around it.”

Officers and social workers have been stationed at British and American airports, and on the Eurostar this week as part of a transatlantic operation to prevent families taking children abroad for FGM and help survivors.

An estimated 500 people were spoken to at Heathrow Airport on Thursday alone after arriving on flights from countries where the practice is prevalent, and similar operations are taking place at Gatwick, Manchester and Luton.

The operation, codenamed Limelight, has also been carried out at New York’s JFK Airiport after American authorities signed a “proclamation of interagency support” for FGM investigations with the UK.

Nimco Ali: A register can help protect our daughters against FGM

On Friday the Evening Standard broke the story of a three-year-old girl who needed emergency surgery after allegedly being subjected to female genital mutilation. London has the largest FGM-affected population in the UK and earlier this year a Londoner was cleared of arranging FGM on his daughter when she was nine.

The medical evidence proved the child had been subjected to FGM but the jury did not believe the child’s story that her father had arranged for her to be cut twice between 2010 and 2013.

The fact that FGM is happening in London is an open secret and we are not doing enough to fight the issue.

Those committed to harming girls are becoming more and more confident. Thankfully, the three-year-old at the heart of the current case is alive but I fear that soon we will be dealing with dead children as a result of FGM. This is why I am calling for all girls born to women who have undergone FGM to be put on a protection register.

FGM travel ban ‘keeping family apart for 16 years

A travel ban imposed for 15 years on a child because of concerns that she was at risk of being taken abroad for female genital mutilation is to be challenged in the Court of Appeal. It is the first time an FGM case has reached the court.

The travel ban was imposed on the child, referred to in court as X, who was born in 2016 to a white English mother and an Egyptian father who lives in Egypt and cannot join the mother and X because of visa issues.

Somalia announces first ever prosecution against FGM in historic move

All the people involved in the death of a 10-year old girl who underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia will face prosecution as the government seeks to fight against the age-old tradition.

This would be the first-ever prosecution of FGM in the country.

Deeqa Dahir Nuur makes part of the 98 per cent of women and girls who have undergone FGM in Somalia.  She is also part of those who have died after the procedure.

Nuur underwent the procedure on July 14, and a cut in one of her veins caused her to bleed.  Unable to stem the bleeding, the family took the girl to Dhusmareb hospital, where she bled to death.

Somalia’s attorney general Ahmed Ali Dahir sent a team of 10 investigators to Nuur’s parents and the village cutter.

He made the comments at a media training session in the capital city, stating that the government is ready to go to court.

His announcement was backed by Deputy prime minister Mahdi Mohamed Gulaid who termed the announcement, “really a defining moment for Somalia.”

“It is not acceptable that in the 21st century FGM is continuing in Somalia. It should not be part of our culture. It is definitely not part of the Islamic religion. The prosecution of those involved in [Nuur’s death] will send a strong message to the country,” he said.


Somali father defends FGM after daughter, 10, dies

The father of a 10-year-old girl who died after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) in Somalia has defended the practice.

Dahir Nur’s daughter died of blood loss on 17 July, two days after being taken to a traditional circumciser.

But he told Voice of America (VOA) “people in the area are content” with FGMeven considering the dangers, adding it is the country’s “culture”.

According to Unicef, 98% of girls and women in Somalia have undergone FGM.

This is despite Somalia’s constitution prohibiting – although not outlawing – the practice, which involves the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons and can cause profound health problems.

Dr Abdirahman Omar Hassan, director of Hanano hospital in the city of Dhusamareb, told VoA he had never seen “anyone who was mutilated like that in my life”.

Dr Hassan, who was on the team who tried to save the girl, also revealed she had caught tetanus, most likely from the unsterilised equipment used during the original procedure.

Arrests and prosecutions alone will not end the problem of FGM

Arrests and prosecutions alone will not end the problem of FGM, said a police inspector speaking at the National FGM Centre’s annual conference, this week.

More preventative work with affected communities is needed in order to end the harmful practice, the audience heard.

Inspector Allen Davis, from the Metropolitan Police Service, told the audience: “There are a number of challenges to securing convictions.

“Prosecutions alone aren’t going to change anything. They are symbolic but we’re not going to be able to arrest our way out of the problem.

“But prosecutions do send out a very strong message to communities that it’s illegal and they act as a deterrent for people thinking about taking their daughter abroad to undergo FGM, or having it done in this country.”

He said barriers to reporting FGM to the police include children being unlikely to ‘tell on their parents’, or being too young to remember what happened and professionals failing to report information.

Difficulties in securing a conviction include issues such as pressure from the community on the family involved, and the challenge to secure an admission of guilt, said Inspector Davis.


Thousands of FGM Cases Recorded in Britain

London. Thousands of cases of female genital mutilation have been identified over the past year in Britain, according to data published on Thursday (05/07) that experts said showed the need for stronger action to tackle the illegal practice.

More than 6,000 women and girls who visited a doctor, midwife, obstetrician or another public health service in England between April 2017 and March 2018 had undergone FGM at some point in their lives, official figures showed.

Some had previously been identified as having had the procedure, but almost 4,500 cases were recorded for the first time since the government made it compulsory for medics to report FGM in 2015.

In most cases, the ritual was carried out abroad on women born overseas.

But 150 of the women were born in Britain and 85 had undergone the procedure inside the country.

Janet Fyle, policy adviser at the Royal College of Midwives, said the numbers were “very worrying” and raised concerns over the effectiveness of safeguarding practices.

Orchid Project, a charity working to end FGM worldwide, said more needed to be done to end the practice, working with communities where it is prevalent.

“Focus should be on prevention to keep girls safe,” a spokeswoman for the group told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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