To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that police forces and local authorities are making use of female genital mutilation protection orders.
21 December 2016
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime and it is child abuse. We will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong physical and psychological suffering to women and girls.
FGM Protection Orders (FGMPOs) were fast-tracked for implementation in July 2015, to protect girls before the school holidays started. The most recent data shows that in the period July 2015 – June 2016, 68 orders were granted. FGMPOs may include conditions to protect victims or potential victims, including preventing them from being taken out of the UK. Centrally held data is not disaggregated to show the actual number of victims prevented from travelling.
We continue to work with the police and other agencies to ensure that FGMPOs are being used as widely as possible. On 1 April, we issued statutory guidance on FGM for all frontline professionals which includes information on FGMPOs. The Home Office-led FGM Unit delivers an ongoing programme of outreach across the UK which includes providing support to local areas and speaking at awareness raising events. The Unit recently visited all forces in England and Wales to understand their response to FGM and raise awareness of examples of best practice, including on the use of FGMPOs.
In addition, Border Force plays a vital role in helping to identify and protect potential victims of FGM travelling to and from the UK. A rolling programme of joint police-Border Force operations take place at airports during the school holidays targeting inbound and outbound flights to and from countries with a high prevalence of FGM, forced marriage and human trafficking. Border Force works in close partnership with other agencies, including social services, the police and non government organisations.