We launched Justice for FGM Victims UK in January 2014.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in the UK. Under the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Act, anyone found guilty of the offence faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
However, the existing system for safeguarding vulnerable girls against FGM has failed to protect them or produce a single successful prosecution*.
France, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Spain and the USA have all convicted FGM perpetrators as have Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal.
A 2014 survey estimates that as of 2013 approximately 170,000 women and girls in England and Wales are living with the consequences of FGM and as many as 65,000 girls under the age of 13 in England and Wales are at risk of undergoing FGM.
The failure to protect and safeguard these vulnerable girls in the UK who have undergone FGM sets a dangerous precedent for the girls still at risk of undergoing these practices here in the future.
Justice for FGM Victims UK believes that FGM is a form of child abuse and should be dealt with as such.
We are campaigning to ensure that in the UK:
- The judiciary in the UK routinely brings to justice those who insist on carrying out, supporting or procuring these harmful FGM procedures;
- All law enforcement, social care, public health and education bodies ensure full protection for girls at risk of or having undergone FGM.
Justice for FGM Victims UK will campaign for:
- Mandatory, dedicated training of relevant professionals within social care, law enforcement agencies, the health sector and education.
- Mandatory recording of appropriate FGM data by social care, law enforcement agencies and the health sector to allow the true scale of FGM to be identified and measured.
- Mandatory reporting of suspected cases of FGM by the health and education sectors to social care and law enforcement agencies.
- An analysis of current UK FGM legislation, regulation and guidelines to address the continued lack of prosecution of those who perpetrate FGM.
Justice for FGM Victims UK was launched alongside a major report which looks into why no prosecutions have taken place in the UK, the reasons for this failure and why vulnerable girls are not being protected from FGM in the UK.
* Justice for FGM Victims UK welcomes the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to take the prosecution of FGM perpetrators more seriously. It is therefore a matter of great concern to us that the CPS’s decision to focus their efforts on prosecuting a hospital doctor over reinfibulating (re-closing) a previously mutilated grown women after childbirth has in fact nothing to do with prosecuting someone responsible for carrying out (or appropriating) the mutilation of a young girl in the first place.
These are totally different cases requiring very separate approaches to bringing about a prosecution. The reinfibulation of a woman is a completely different procedure to the mutilation of the genitalia of a young girl.
Justice for FGM Victims UK believes that this prosecution, whether or not it results in a conviction, does little to further the successful prosecution of those who mutilate or facilitate the mutilation of young girls in the UK.