Health Officials and Police Respond to FGM in England
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 2:30 PM

Health officials in Liverpool, England estimate that more that 22,000 girls in England and Wales are at risk for female genital mutuliation. These young girls are either taken abroad during school holidays for the operation or elders are flown in from home countries to perform the illegal circumcisions. Figures from Liverpool maternity services found 237 women in the last three years who had undergone the procedure. However, health specialists believe that this underrepresents the full extent of the problem, and plan to tailor a health service for victims of FGM, and to raise public awareness of the issue. They believe that an informed immigrant community will put a halt to the practice. FGM can cause severe health complications, including infection and infertility.

The police in Liverpool today asked the public to assume responsibility for child protection, and to report suspicious cases. The Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2003 outlaws the procedure inside of the United Kingdom, in addition to taking a national or permanent resident abroad to undergo the procedure. The penalty is up to fourteen years in prison. 

Compiled from: Hundreds of Liverpool Girls ‘Mutilated’ in African Ritual,” Liverpool Daily Post, 5 February 2008.