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LGA responds to FGM report by Home Affairs Committee

"FGM is child abuse and cannot be justified by any reason, which is why local authorities are committed to working with their communities to end the practice."

In response to a report released today on FGM by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee, Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the Local Government Association's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, which runs the National FGM Centre in partnership with Barnardo's, said:

"FGM is child abuse and cannot be justified by any reason, which is why local authorities are committed to working with their communities to end the practice. The FGM Centre engages with local community groups on behalf of the councils it supports to change attitudes to a practice which is leaving young girls physically and mentally scarred for life.

"The report's findings that some NHS clinicians are ignoring mandatory recording of FGM is concerning, particularly as last year's City University study found that almost every local authority area was likely to contain women living with the effects of FGM.

"It is crucial that health trusts and GP practices continue to submit FGM attendance records to help build reliable and accurate figures reflecting the prevalence of FGM across the country.

"More funding and resources are needed to help councils work within communities where FGM is practised, or efforts to prevent it will fail, as the report warns.

"The FGM Centre's pioneering pilot project is providing a more detailed picture of how many women and girls are at risk, adding to the information on total numbers available from the NHS, so support can be better targeted going forward and help inform a redefined government FGM Unit.

"Teachers and front line social workers in councils across the country are increasingly aware of the criminal practice of FGM, however, the practice will only be stopped permanently if all agencies and communities work together to keep women and girls safe."

Related information: 

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/home-affairs-committee/news-parliament-2015/fgm-report-published-16-17/

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