UK: 'Time to Stop' Abuse of Girls

A MERSEYSIDE MP has called for international action to tackle the practice of female circumcision.

The ECHO revealed this month how hundreds of victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) have been treated in Liverpool women’s hospital.

Wirral West MP Stephen Hesford has now asked the government to reveal what research has been done on the subject and how it is being handled internationally.

He acted after reading about how tribal elders are being flown into the UK to mutilate young girls in Liverpool as part of this predominantly African tradition.

Girls, typically aged between 4 and 11, are also taken abroad during school holidays to be illegally circumcised.

Mr Hesford said: “While this goes on behind closed doors we need to work to create an environment where a different culture is created in these communities.

“We can all help raise awareness.

“I want to know what recent research has been commissioned by the government on the subject, as I feel more still needs to be done.”

Earlier this month, gynaecologists at Alder Hey children’s hospital said they had seen young girls suffering complications after undergoing FGM.

Gillian Merron, parliamentary under-secretary for international development, said: “We strongly support efforts to eliminate FGM and other harmful traditional practices as part of our gender equality strategies.

“The department has supported advocacy events globally and in Africa, such as funding events in 28 African countries and Geneva to mark International FGM Zero Tolerance Day, and supporting an African regional workshop on child protection and FGM in Kenya.”

SOURCE: Liverpool Echo

AUTHOR: Caroline Innes

URL: Click here

DATE: 06/03/2008

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