Female genital mutilation order will help protect Sheffield girls

Louise Haigh MP outside Parliament
Louise Haigh MP outside Parliament

A Sheffield MP has welcomed a new female genital mutilation (FGM) protection order set to help at risk girls in Sheffield.

The new orders come into force this summer.

Over 450 girls under 16 are born to women who have undergone FGM in Sheffield, making the city a high risk area for FGM.

Risk increases during the summer holidays when it is thought girls are more likely to be taken abroad to undergo FGM.

The new orders will help safeguard girls who are at risk of FGM at home or abroad by allowing courts to seize travel documents and passports.

Any order would state that family members or any other named individuals should not aid, abet, counsel, procure, encourage or assist another person to attempt to commit or conspire to commit FGM.

Louise Haigh MP for Sheffield Heeley welcomes the new rules “These new protection orders will help girls across Sheffield who are at high risk of FGM. Anyone who suspects that someone is at risk of FGM can apply for an order to protect the young person, sending a strong message that this horrific practice is more than unacceptable in Sheffield. Breaking the order is a criminal offence with a tough sentence of 5 years.”

These FGMPO’s mean those who fear that someone is at risk of FGM are now able to apply directly to a court- including those who think they could be a victim or are already victims of FGM.

Giving more powers not only to the individuals affected but to local authorities, teachers, doctors, social workers or any other third parties who are concerned.

Louise added “It is important we get the message out about these new orders, which show that the UK is taking FGM very seriously.”

Sheffield Combined Court Centre is one of the courts with these new powers, allowing them to confiscate passports and travel documents to prevent girls from being taken aboard and also prohibit someone from bringing a “cutter” to the UK for the purposes of committing FGM on a young girl.