The Law Relating to Female Genital Mutilation

Ruth Gaffney-Rhys

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

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    Female genital mutilation (FGM), which is defined by the World Health Organisation to include: ‘procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons’ (WHO, 2016) has been a specific criminal offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. It is now regulated by the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, as amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015. The current legislation criminalises those who perform or organise FGM and parents who fail to protect their children from mutilation. It also imposes a duty on regulated professionals to report cases of FGM performed on children, provides lifelong anonymity to victims and enables the courts to make civil protection orders. This paper examines the provisions of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 and considers issues such as: whether genital cosmetic surgery is lawful; whether the law discriminates against those who practice genital alterations for customary reasons and whether the civil law provisions are more effective than the criminal law provisions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    EventWelsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice: 2019 Annual Conference - Gregynog Hall, Powys, United Kingdom
    Duration: 10 Apr 201911 Apr 2019


    ConferenceWelsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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