Despite the practice being illegal in the UK, it is estimated around 20,000 British schoolgirls are still at risk.Read the full story ›
Campaigners have welcomed plans to fast-track through Parliament new laws aimed at sparing girls from female genital mutilation (FGM).
Charities said the measures, which would be introduced before the school summer holidays next month, would help prevent vulnerable young females from being taken abroad for the procedure.
David Cameron told the Observer the plans could go through Parliament in weeks.
"Female genital mutilation is a cruel and barbaric practice," he said.
"At last year's global summit in London, I said we should not rest until this abhorrent practice is stopped everywhere. These new orders will help in the fight against this horrific abuse."
An NSPCC spokesman said: "Female genital... has no place in any society and any new measures aimed at eradicating it are welcome."
Prime Minister David Cameron is to announce new legislation tackling reporting on female genital mutilation:
Unicef warned ahead of a summit introducing new Government legislation, that while the rate of female genital mutilation and child marriage has fallen over the past three decades, population increase in developing nations alone could reverse this trend if "intensive action" is not introduced.
The numbers tell us we must accelerate our efforts. And let's not forget that these numbers represent real lives.
While these are problems of a global scale, the solutions must be local, driven by communities, families and girls themselves to change mindsets and break the cycles that perpetuate FGM and child marriage. We can't let the staggering numbers numb us - they must compel us to act.
The Government will unveil plans to give teachers, doctors and social workers extra training to identify and help girls who might be at risk of becoming victims of FGM.
Further measures to be unveiled today include:
- New police guidance from the College of Policing and an inspection programme by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) that will look at how police handle FGM cases.
- A consultation on proposed civil orders to protect girls at risk of FGM.
- New legislation to grant victims of FGM lifelong anonymity from the time they make an allegation.
- A specialist "FGM service" that will include social workers to "proactively" identify instances of FGM.
- New programmes to prevent child and forced marriage in 12 developing nations.
- An "International Charter" calling for the eradication of these practices within a generation.
The Prime Minister has called to end the practice of female genital mutilation and forced marriages "once and for all", as new legislation is due to be unveiled by the Government at a summit in London.
All girls have the right to live free from violence and coercion, without being forced into marriage or the lifelong physical and psychological effects of female genital mutilation.
Abhorrent practices like these, no matter how deeply rooted in societies, violate the rights of girls and women across the world, including here in the UK.
Parents who fail to prevent their daughter being subjected to female genital mutilation will face prosecution under new legislation to be unveiled by the Government at a summit in London.
A £1.4 million FGM Prevention Programme for survivors and those at risk of the practice are among a raft of plans to be announced by Prime Minister David Cameron at the Girl Summit, which is being co-hosted by the Government and Unicef.
The measures to combat FGM and forced marriage in the UK and abroad come as Unicef warns advances made in tackling them in the developing world could be reversed if the pace of action is not increased.
Controlling the lives and bodies of young women through female genital mutilation has no place in modern Britain, the chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said. Dr Peter Carter added:
The RCN has worked with the Government on the development of training and guidance to help equip frontline staff with the skills they need to tackle this most sensitive of issues.
Nurses are dedicated to protecting their young female patients from this harm and will continue to support any initiatives that aim to do so.