IRELAND: Over 2,500 Women In Ireland Have Undergone Female Genital Mutilation

A year after its publication, The National Action Plan on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has still not been adopted by any Government agency, and legislation outlawing it has not been implemented.

Director of Akidwa, the national network for African and migrant women, Salome Mbugua, said there was no explicit legal protection against FGM in Ireland, nor was it possible to protect a child from being taken overseas to have the procedure carried out.

'); //--> Click here “These two scenarios need to be catered for together within legislation. We hope that the Minister for Health and Children will get the appropriate support from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the attorney general in urgently progressing this matter,” she said.

It is estimated more than 2,500 women living in Ireland have undergone the procedure. The goals of the action plan are to prevent the practice of FGM in Ireland; to provide high quality, appropriate healthcare and support to women and girls who have undergone it; and to contribute to the worldwide campaign to it.

In a statement, Akidwa said the Government must follow through on the recommendations proposed to Health Minister Mary Harney and adopt a bill to specifically outlaw the practice in Ireland.

“Only once this is achieved will these women and children be protected and we can continue our work to promote the abandonment of the practice internationally,” she wrote.

In the UK, it is an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out FGM abroad, or ‘to aid, abet, counsel or procure’ the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where it is legal.

SOURCE: Irish Medical Times

AUTHOR: Niamh Mullen

URL: Click here

DATE: 03/12/09

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