Plan UK, a children’s charity that focuses on girl’s rights, yesterday released statistics detailing the extent of Female Genital Mutilation in the United Kingdom.
It has now been revealed that a new case of FGM is reported to authorities across the country every 96 minutes, a rapidly increasing rate that has led to 5,484 cases in total being recorded between October 2014 and September 2015.
Although FGM has not typically been as prevalent in the UK as in countries such as Somalia, Guinea and Djibouti, the practice has grown domestically in recent years. The practice has been illegal in the UK since 1985, and since 2003 it has been illegal to remove anyone from the country for the purposes of undertaking FGM abroad.
On the 31st October 2015, the UK government introduced legislation that creates the requirement of any regulated professional in Health and Social care to report known cases of FGM in under-18’s to the police. As a result of this legislation there has been a spike in reported cases of FGM as more healthcare professionals report their encounters with victims.
As awareness grows of FGM, so are the calls by many to take more action to reduce the impact of FGM and hold those responsible to account. To date, no one has ever been prosecuted for FGM under UK law.
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