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NHS records a thousand cases of female genital mutilation

Credit: Reuters

More than 1,000 women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) have been treated by the NHS, according to official figures.

Data from hospitals, GP surgeries and mental health centres showed there were 1,036 newly-recorded cases of FGM in England between April and June this year.

A total of 1,159 attendances were recorded where a patient was identified as having FGM - nine of whom were aged under 18 when they were first seen. The data covers instances where the FGM has been reported by the patient or the medical provider.

FGM or taking a female abroad for the purposes of FGM is illegal in the UK, carrying a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.

It's shocking to see the extent of FGM here in the UK.

FGM is a practice with an inherently global dimension and while it's vital that we do everything we can to stop FGM here, as well as to support the girls and women affected by it, the reality is that this practice won't end in the UK until it is ended worldwide.

– Tanya Barron, Plan UK

New laws to fight FGM to go through Parliament in weeks

The NSPCC welcomedavid Cameron's announcement on FGM Credit: PA

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."


Cameron: FGM reporting to be made mandatory

Prime Minister David Cameron is to announce new legislation tackling reporting on female genital mutilation:

Unicef: Solutions over ending FGM 'should be local'

Unicef executive director Anthony Lake Credit: Marcos Rampelotto/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

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.

– Unicef executive director Anthony Lake

Government to unveil new police measures on FGM

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.
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