Although female genital mutilation (FGM) has been a crime in Britain since 1985, there has been no conviction for FGM in the U.K. Here in the U.S., American courts are seeing the first federal prosecution for FGM in Michigan, where three individuals are facing charges for allegedly mutilating two 7-year-old girls at a clinic.
Why have U.K. prosecutors been unsuccessful? This is a serious question that must be answered, says international child advocate and attorney Elizabeth Yore, who leads the national #EndFGMToday initiative.
In a new editorial for CNS News, Yore notes that Britain's National Health Institute released data for 2017-18 reported about 4,500 new cases of FGM—more than one every two hours! An estimated 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales have been exposed to this brutal mutilation.
"Britain is struggling with its own cultural invasion—an invasion of the barbaric practice of female ... mutilation," Yore said. "Will the United States learn from the mistakes of its friend, Britain? We have the unique opportunity to watch and learn from afar, as the U.K. fumbles and fails to address the consequences of a growing reality of female ... mutilation—and its costly personal and economic consequences."
Yore added that the National Health Institute report also describes the underlying cause for the skyrocketing FGM numbers: "In addition to permanent residents, nearly 4,200 temporary residents born in FGM practicing countries were enumerated in 2011, of whom just over 900 came from countries where FGM is almost universal. Although these women may have moved on, others are likely to have succeeded them."
"This is the classic clash of cultures," Yore added. "Millenia of practicing FGM, no matter how heinous to modernity, no matter its illegality, no matter its health consequences, no matter its obvious human rights violations, will be imported by refugees. British values and moral standards are flouted and circumvented by the refugees. No amount of training, education or even prosecutions can slow down this tsunami of FGM brutality in England."
Yore also noted that according to a 2016 estimation by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), around 200 million women living today have undergone this procedure. FGM is recognized by both the World Health Organization and the U.N. as a human rights violation, and the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 513,000 girls and women are at risk of FGM in the United States.
Learn more about FGM at EndFGMToday.com or on social media at #EndFGMToday.
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