David Cameron has unveiled measures to prosecute parents who fail to stop their daughters undergoing female genital mutilation.
New funding to protect girls from the practice and forced marriage was announced at the Girl Summit 2014 in London yesterday (22 July).
A £1.4 million prevention programme, in partnership with NHS England, will care for survivors and safeguard those at risk. Teachers, doctors and social workers will get training to identify and help girls at risk.
The Prime Minister told the Summit, hosted with children’s charity Unicef, the practices should be stopped worldwide "within this generation"
He said: "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.”
Find out more: On 9 December 2014, Pavilion will host a conference entitled 'Preventing Female Genital Mutilation' aimed at building an awareness of FGM and encouraging HCPs and safeguarding teams to act swiftly on their behalf - click here to find out more and book your place
The announcement came as it emerged that the number of women living in England and Wales who have been subjected to FGM is twice as high as previously thought.
A new study by City University and the human rights group Equality Now revealed more than 137,000 women in England and Wales are living with the consequences of FGM. The number has significantly increased in the past 10 years as women flee war-torn countries to find safety in Britain.
Female genital mutilation has been illegal in the UK since 1985, and the law was tightened in 2003 to make it an offence for a British resident to travel abroad in order to have FGM carried out on a child. Pressure has been growing on police and prosecutors over the failure – until earlier this year – to bring a single case to the British courts. Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, announced the first ever charge relating to FGM earlier this year but the case has yet to go through the courts.
Other moves announced yesterday include the launch of a new specialist FGM service which will include social services, to identify and respond to FGM; this will be supported by an ongoing package of work led by the Chief Social Worker Isabelle Trowler.
New legislation will also grant victims lifelong anonymity from the time an allegation is made. The domestic changes will not apply in Scotland or Northern Ireland, but governments there said they had their own plans to tackle FGM.
For more details on the proposals read: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-hosts-girl-summit-2014-a-future-free-from-fgm-and-child-and-forced-marriage