England and Wales: Medical Workers and Educators Must Report Cases of Female Genital Mutilation to Law Enforcement

As of October 31, 2015, all “doctors, nurses, midwives and teachers” in England and Wales must promptly report cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) to the police. Failure to report FGM could result in legal sanctions and disciplinary measures. Proponents of the rule at the National Health Service (NHS) say that the reporting requirement “will support health professionals to recognise FGM and ensure they report it . . . while ensuring that women and children who have been victims receive the treatment and support they need.” Other advocates fear that the rule might prevent victims of FGM from seeking medical care.

The United Kingdom banned the practice of FGM in 1985. Reports indicate that as many as 140,000 girls and women are victims of FGM in the UK.

Compiled from: Gallagher, James, FGM: Legal duty to inform police comes into force, BBC News (October 31, 2015); Katz, Gregory, New law in England, Wales demands teachers report female genital mutilation cases to police, U.S. News and World Report and the Associated Press (October 30, 2015).