As we mentioned yesterday, the government is hoping to introduce new laws to protect victims of FGM, after issuing a consultation on the matter in July of this year.
They have now published the consultation outcome which responds to that proposal.
The response to the consultation was carried out by the Ministry of Justice, and runs to 17 pages. It highlights the background to the report, a summary of the responses, responses to questions raised in the report and the next steps post the consultation.
It’s an interesting document which explains the different viewpoints on the proposal for a civil protection order. Some respondents felt that the current criminal sanctions were not enough, others felt that the Children Act’s prohibited steps order was already effective at preventing parents from removing children from the jurisdiction to undergo FGM and others felt that a specific civil law measure would offer child welfare professionals a clear pathway to safeguarding children and supporting them within the family unit.
It’s a complex area, combining cultural norms and standards which are not always beneficial to empowering children or allowing them to speak out without fear of devastating repercussions. A must read report, which highlights many of the nuances in this field and offers a good overview.