Battersea and Putney MPs play key role in campaign against devastating practise of FGM

The fight against female genital mutilation (FGM) has drawn celebrities and politicians alike to speak out against the practise but in the last five years only six arrests were made in south London.

The figures, obtained exclusively by SW Londoner, show that this year only two arrests have been made in south London this year for carrying out or enabling FGM.

Anyone convicted is liable to a maximum 14-year jail term in the UK.

Public Health Minister and Battersea MP, Jane Ellison, said: “FGM devastates lives, and this government is committed to ending this abusive and illegal practice in the UK.”

Under a new ruling which took effect on October 31, doctors, nurses, midwives and teachers are now legally required to report cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) to the police.

It is hoped that the move will bring more of those responsible to justice.

Although FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985, the changes reflect growing concerns about the proliferation of the practice.

There were 3,963 newly identified cases between September 2014 and March 2015, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Of the new cases, 290 cases involved reversing the surgical practice of closing the vagina with a seal, known as infibulation.

As defined by the World Health Organisation, FGM can also involve the partial or total removal of the clitoris.

Putney MP and International Development Secretary, Justine Greening, said earlier this year:  “My Department for International Development will continue to put girls and women at the heart of everything we’re doing. It’s one of the best investments we can make.

“The government stands for girls and against FGM and child marriage, wherever it happens in the world.

“We are working in 17 countries to end FGM and we will reach at least half a million girls with support to prevent child marriage.”

Ms Greening was honoured last week with the accolade of Conservative MP of the year from the Patchwork Foundation for her work on behalf of underrepresented minorities.

Picture courtesy of wonderlane, with thanks

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