Stoke & Staffordshire

FGM protection order for Staffordshire baby

'Why female circumcision?' poster Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Staffordshire County Council requested an FGM protection order

A baby girl, whose mother asked how she could have her circumcised, has been protected with a High Court order.

The woman, who comes from south-east Asia, had been told that female genital mutilation (FGM) was illegal in England, Mr Justice Keehan heard.

She had asked a medic if there were any examples of people being caught after having the procedure done.

Social services at Staffordshire County Council requested a protection order for the baby.

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Mr Justice Keehan analysed the case at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Tuesday and made an FGM protection order.

Barrister Vanessa Meachin, who represented Staffordshire council, said the woman had asked about circumcision at a medical appointment.

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

"(The woman) was informed that it was illegal," Ms Meachin told Mr Justice Keehan.

"(The woman) explained that she had had the procedure carried out and she showed no understanding as to harm that this causes to girls."

Ms Meachin said: "(The woman) inquired as to whether there are any examples of people being caught after having the procedure done."

The judge is due to consider more evidence at another hearing later this month.

Could FGM action push the practice back underground?

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 Middle East
  • An estimated three million girls and women worldwide are at risk each year
  • About 125 million victims estimated to be living with the consequences
  • It is commonly carried out on girls between infancy and the age of 15
  • Often motivated by beliefs about what is considered proper sexual behaviour, to prepare a girl or woman for adulthood and marriage and to ensure "pure femininity"
  • Dangers include severe bleeding, 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

Source: World Health Organization

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