New measures to help FGM sufferers
Additional training is due to be given to teachers, doctors and social workers so that they can easier identify and assist girls thought to be at risk of female genital mutilation.
Part of a package of new measures being unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the guidance will be an aspect of compulsory training in public sector organisations. Although advice is currently given on this topic, professional bodies have advocated more information being available.
FGM is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia, and whilst being illegal in the UK, it is still commonplace across parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Speaking at the Girl Summit hosted by the government and Unicef in London, Mr Clegg is expected to say “Without the right knowledge, skills and experience, people feel like they don’t have the cultural understanding and authority to even talk about this practice honestly, never mind intervene when they’re worried someone is vulnerable. Female genital mutilation is one of the oldest and the most extreme ways in which societies have sought to control the lives and bodies of generations of young women and girls. We’re currently failing thousands of girls… central to tackling it are the doctors, nurses, teachers and legal professionals who need to be equipped to identify and support young women and girls at risk.”
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, told BBC News “Controlling the lives and bodies of young women and girls through FGM has no place in modern Britain. The RCN has worked with the government on the development of training and guidance to help equip frontline staff with the skills they need to tackle this most sensitive of issues.”