Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a deeply abhorrent practice and a fundamental violation of the human rights of women and girls.
Due to the sensitive nature, and the fact that it is most often carried out by or at the request of parents, FGM is a widely unreported crime.
In 2016, the Scottish Government published an action plan to provide a framework to prevent and ultimately eradicate FGM. The plan offers women who suffer the trauma of FGM specialist mental health services. It also details how all social work offices and health boards need to have one professional with expertise in the area as part of their team.
FGM has been illegal in Scotland since 1985, however the SNP Scottish Government has recently published a new Bill to provide for increased protection. The Bill will introduce protection orders specifically designed to safeguard women and children who might find themselves under pressure to undergo FGM, and also see statutory guidance issued for public bodies.
FGM is a completely unacceptable and illegal practice which no one should have to suffer. We want Scotland to be a leader in terms ending violence against women and girls and this Bill will be part of that focus.