Liberal Democrats leading campaign to end FGM – Baker and Featherstone

February 6, 2014 1:14 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Last week International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone with girls in Zitenga village (Burkina Faso) who are free from FGM/C (Picture: Lindsay Mgbor/DFID. Published by DFID under a Creative Commons Licence

International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone with girls in Zitenga village, Burkina Faso

The Coalition Government has today announced a package of measures to combat the harmful practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) nationally and internationally.

Measures include making it mandatory for all NHS acute hospitals to provide information on patients who have suffered or are at risk of suffering FGM.

The announcement marks International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. Liberal Democrat Ministers Norman Baker and Lynne Featherstone met with charities and stakeholders to discuss future work to end FGM.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Crime Prevention Minister, Norman Baker, said:

"There is no justification for Female Genital Mutilation - it is child abuse and it is illegal.

"I am determined we do all we can to bring perpetrators to justice. The law in this country applies to absolutely everyone and political or cultural sensitivities must not get in the way of preventing, uncovering and prosecuting FGM.

"We have launched a new FGM Community Engagement Initiative; we are continuing our work with the Director of Public Prosecutions to help secure convictions and we have also part-funded a study into the prevalence of FGM in the UK.

"Today, I chaired a cross-government roundtable to discuss our work to end FGM and reaffirm our commitment to protecting the current and future generations of girls from this abuse."

Liberal Democrat International Development Minister, Lynne Featherstone, said:

"We will not see an end to FGM in the UK unless the practice is eliminated worldwide. This will take a grassroots movement across Africa that can change attitudes and help communities see FGM for what it is: child abuse.

"This campaign will unite activists across Africa with UK diaspora communities and charities, raising awareness of the pain and suffering FGM causes and showing that it is possible to end the practice."