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End FGM and forced marriage within a generation

July 21, 2014 11:04 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg, will speak at the Girl Summit on Tuesday, a summit with the aim of ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage within a generation.

At the Summit, Nick will announce a package of measures to help end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.

It is estimated that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM and that around 20,000 young girls are at risk of being cut every year.


The measures are expected to see new guidance for professionals become part of compulsory training in public sector organisations. This will give their staff the support and expertise they need so they can help protect these girls.

This will improve existing training and give teachers, GPs and social workers advice on how to identify girls who might be at risk of FGM and advice on where to go to report concerns.

In addition, new support will be made available for a small network of Community Champions to encourage volunteers who want to provide community support in areas affected by FGM.

These champions will provide a link between local people who may be at risk of committing or being subjected to these practices and professionals who are responsible for keeping girls safe.

In his speech on Tuesday Nick is expected to say:

"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 and must act now to help put a stop to FGM.

"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 of FGM.

"They agree that, 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.

"The UK Government will be introducing new training and guidance for front-line public sector workers to help recognise the signs of FGM abuse and prevent more women and girls getting cut."

The PSHE Association will also be asked to produce a new briefing for schools so that children at high risk are given advice and support so they can seek help if they need it, which will be ready for schools to use in the autumn.

Nick's comments support the work already being done by International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone to end FGM in the UK and abroad.