As part of our ongoing work to protect girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), please find below a joint statement with the Metropolitan Police Service to highlight the increased risk during the summer holidays of girls from FGM practicing communities being subjected to FGM, and to inform practicing communities of the law in the UK in relation to FGM. FORWARD has also issued its own statement and is working with the BBC Arabic Service to raise awareness of this issue.
Please circulate and display the joint statement widely (pdf of the statement is available for download at the bottom of this page along with FORWARD’s own statement). As part of the initiative ‘Stop Female Circumcision’ posters in Arabic and Somali are also being distributed to raise awareness amongst FGM practicing communities of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (UK) – a pdf of these posters is also available at the bottom of this page.
If you suspect that a girl is at risk of FGM do not hesitate to call FORWARD, or click here for further information on
how to protect a girl that you suspect is at risk of FGM. As usual, any donations to support this work would be most appreciated click here if you would like to donate to our work.
Summer Holidays are for Fun not Pain
Summer holidays are almost upon us. Some adults from communities that practise Female
Genital Mutilation (FGM) take their young daughters and girls under their care for ï¿½summer
holidaysï¿½ abroad with the intention of subjecting them to FGM while they are there.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in conjunction with British Medical Association
(BMA), Foundation for Womenï¿½s Health, Research and Development (FORWARD),
Africans Unite against Child Abuse, (AFRUCA), Development Support Agency (DSA) and
the Somali Information Integration Centre (SIIC), are working to inform all parents/carers
that the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes it illegal to participate in any sort of
arrangement for FGM to be performed on another, inside or outside of the UK. The
Metropolitan Police will safeguard any girl believed to be at risk and prosecute offenders.
The penalty for aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring or carrying out FGM either
inside or outside of the UK is 14 years of imprisonment or a fine or both.
FORWARD estimates, based on data from The International Centre for Reproductive Health
(2004), that within the UK around 279,500 women have undergone FGM and each year
approximately 22,000 girls under 16 years are at risk of becoming victims of FGM.
FGM has very severe health consequences including death. The procedure is extremely
painful. There is a high risk of developing infections and spreading diseases including
HIV/AIDS. There are many significant lifelong medical, psychological and emotional
consequences for victims. In June 2006 the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that
in the African context 10 ï¿½ 20 babies die per 1000 deliveries as a result of this practice. FGM
is a clear violation of the human rights of the girl and is prohibited by many international and
regional human rights conventions.
FGM is a cultural practice, which has no basis in any religion.
The MPS, above agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations want to raise awareness of
the health and legal implications of this crime and to empower children vulnerable to this
practice. We want to educate parents and carers about the consequences of arranging FGM, as
well as raising awareness amongst professionals.
The MPS, BMA, FORWARD, AFRUCA, DSA and Somali Information & Integration Centre
appeal to families from FGM practising communities to protect your female children from the
suffering and devastating consequences of Female Genital Mutilation.
020 8960 4000 020 7387 4499
AFUCA Development Support Agency
020 7704 2261 020 8429 5949
The British Medical Association, (BMA) has openly endorsed and supported this campaign and FORWARD has learnt that recently the BMA have updated their guidance for UK doctors on FGM to reflect legal and policy developments.
Press coverage of this initiative with the Metropolitan Police is available here.