FGM reporting statute comes into force – BBC News

22 days ago
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Doctors, nurses, midwives and teachers are legally required to report cases of female genital mutilation( FGM) to the police from today.

Failure to do so will result in disciplinary measures and could ultimately lead to them being barred from running.

The rules apply in England and Wales when girls under 18 say they have been cut or personnel recognise the signs.

FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985.

The practice, also known as female circumcision, refers to any procedure that alters or injures the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

In its most severe kind, the genitals are cut and sewn shut until the victim is ready to have a newborn and then sewn back up again. Proponents believe this maintains women and girls “hygienic, chaste and faithful”.

Studies are under way to work out how many are affected – but the above figures is thought to be around 137,000 in England and Wales.

The government is committed to ending the “abusive and illegal practice” within a generation.

Image copyright NHS England

The new regulations tell occurrences should be reported promptly – ideally by the end of the next work day after they are discovered.

Guidance has been drawn up by the NHS, the Department of Health and medical Royal Colleges to assistance faculty understand the new rules.

Public Health Minister Jane Ellison told: “Healthcare professionals are at the vanguard of the fight to end FGM and this new obligation is the next step in that opposed.

“The tools we are providing will empower NHS staff and support them in strengthening their safeguarding response for our girls who are at risk, and better protect and care for those living with FGM.”

Hilary Garratt, the director of nursing at NHS England, told: “NHS England is committed to helping to eradicate FGM, while ensuring that women and children who have been victims receive the treatment and support they need.

“This new guidance will support health professionals to recognise FGM and ensure they report it.”

Mandatory reporting is not currently a legal requirement in Scotland but some legislators have been pushing ministers to follow the UK government’s leading. In March, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced 220,000 of funding for “community engagement projects, awareness-raising and training and support services”.

In June the Northern Ireland Assembly introduced protection orders which avoid travelling for young girl thought to be at risk of being taken abroad for FGM procedures.

Female genital mutilation

Includes “the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” Practised in 29 countries in Africa and some countries in Asia and the Countries of the middle east An calculated three million girls and women worldwide are at risk per year About 125 million victims estimated to be living with the consequences It is commonly carried out on young girls, often between infancy and the age of 15 Often motivated by notions about what is considered proper sexual behaviour, to prepare a girl or woman for adulthood and matrimony and to ensure “pure femininity” Dangers include severe bleed, problems urinating, infections, infertility and increased risk of newborn deaths in childbirth In December 2012, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution calling for all member states to ban the practice