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← Stop female genital mutilation in the UK! - Avaaz.org petition

ElizabethN's Avatar Jump to comment 67 by ElizabethN

Comment 36 by Richard Dawkins

I received an email confirming that I had signed the petition. If you have not received a similar email then I suggest trying again.

To RDF thank you for providing this information and link to the petition. I have forwarded the link to a number of women’s interest groups here in Australia similarly seeking their support. It continues to be a growing problem in Australia particularly because of the increasing immigration and refugee intake from countries where such practices are accepted or common place. See the link below for a recent news item here.

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1648263/Genital-mutilation-challenging-for-Aussie-health-w

Comment 5 by EvN and Comment 22 Ignorant Amos

There are many reasons why such matters are difficult to prosecute not least of which is the pressure placed on the girl to conform and not be ostracised by her religious or cultural community, and even more of a concern here where the family law allows or rather requires the Court to impose a particular religious upbringing on a child where there is a dispute between the parents or guardians.

Another is the difficulty of obtaining the supporting evidence. Notoriously these crimes occur outside the country that would seek to prosecute and must rely to some extent on either foreign evidence, which given the countries to which the girls are taken, they either have no Interpol arrangement or a Police to Police MoU in order to obtain that evidence, or alternatively are reliant on evidence from a reluctant or closed community. The issues faced by investigators in these matters are not dissimilar to those dealing with sex trafficking issues and sex tourism (another big problem here).

Assault charges require evidence of lack of consent by either the victim, if she is able to give that evidence, or from the persons who at the time had the ability to give consent such as the parents or guardians. Even if their reluctance to do so on religious or cultural grounds were not enough, they would hardly be likely to be helpful with any authorities given the potential consequences of criminal action against them.

There are mandatory reporting requirements that should result in the involvement in the UK of the child protection authorities, but I am unable to comment on how effective they are at removing a child from that environment. Although I have undertaken many matters with children at risk in Australia I am unaware of any that have involved claims of future risk to a girl child arising from genital mutilation that has occurred.

I would not want to think that concern about offending religious groups prevented such action and I have no evidence either way but I do have concerns that here we do seem concerned at giving such offence.

Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:04:24 UTC | #947006