A man in London has been charged with female genital mutilation (FGM) in what is only the second case of its kind in the UK, despite the practice having been illegal for 31 years, and dozens of new cases being discovered by health authorities every day.
The 49-year-old, who is reported to be from Africa, is accused of carrying out the procedure on a child between 2010 and 2013. If the prosecution succeeds, it will be the first conviction for FGM in Britain, where it has been banned since 1985.
He will appear at Woolwich crown court on Friday facing two charges alleging that he “excised, infibulated or otherwise mutilated the whole or part of the labia minora” of a young girl, which according to the Daily Mail took place between 2010 and 2013.
In addition to the charges under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, the south London resident is also charged with two counts of wounding with intent, and three separate counts of child cruelty.
"…there has not been a single conviction for FGM in Scotland…" https://t.co/EL5ZPNwfUB
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 17, 2017
Hundreds of thousands of women in Britain are thought to be living with the consequence of FGM, with the extent of the problem revealed earlier this year when analysis of NHS data showed the health service either treats or discovers new cases every hour in England.
Since FGM was first banned legislation against the practice, which is performed mainly in Africa and the Middle East, has been strengthened — with taking a child abroad to have the procedure made a criminal offence in 2003.
And, since 2015, healthcare professionals, teachers and social care workers have been legally required to notify police when they discover cases in which FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl who is under 18.
While Britain’s failure to successfully prosecute a single case of FGM has been branded a “national scandal”, hundreds of people have been convicted in France for carrying out the procedure.
Earlier this year, Breitbart London reported that the European nation’s zero-tolerance approach towards the practice saw more than 100 people jailed by 2014, in dozens of high-profile cases which were brought to court.