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Female Genital Mutilation: Prosecutions

Volume 477: debated on Monday 16 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prosecutions there have been under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. (211045)

There have been no prosecutions under the 2003 Act since it came into force in March 2004. However, the Act is designed to help to prevent this unacceptable practice from happening in the first place and anecdotal evidence suggests that it is doing this. It is also being used to raise awareness among relevant professionals including police forces and others in the Criminal Justice System and those involved with health care, social services and the education sector so that girls at risk can be identified. There is evidence that the law is being pursued vigorously. The Metropolitan Police Child Abuse Investigation Command, for example, has specifically targeted female genital mutilation and produced a comprehensive training pack which has been disseminated widely to London’s schools and many other agencies. Ultimately, educating communities to abandon the practice is the best way forward to break the cycle of mutilation and the Act continues to be widely used for that purpose.