Search icon


24th Feb 2017

Judge places one-year-old girl under female genital mutilation protection order

Alison Bough

A one-year-old girl in the UK has been declared at risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation by a High Court judge.

After a private hearing of the Family Division of the High Court in London, a judge has placed the toddler under a female genital mutilation protection order.

Metro reports that social workers raised concerns that a relative of the child was planning to take her out of the country in order to have FGM carried out.

The judge, Mr Justice Baker, said he was satisfied that the one-year-old girl, who cannot be identified, was at risk.

In 2008, the the Irish Family Planning Association formed a steering committee of experts to advise on the development of a National Plan of Action to address the issue of FGM in Ireland. They say that the practice violates the human rights of women and girls,

“Female genital mutilation, also known as female cutting, is a harmful practice that violates the human rights of women and girls. FGM perpetuates negative gender based stereotypes, infringes on children’s right to special protections, and results in serious physical and psychological health consequences.”

IFPA say that the exact number of women and girls worldwide who have undergone FGM remains unknown,

“In Ireland, it is estimated that 5,277 women and girls have experienced FGM. This represents an increase of roughly 1,500 on the previous estimate of 3,780 women and girls.”

The practice is illegal in Ireland under the 2012 Criminal Justice Act (Female Genital Mutilation Act). The Act states that it is a criminal offence for a person living in Ireland to perform FGM, or to take a girl to another country to undergo FGM. The maximum penalty is a fine of up to €10,000, or imprisonment for up to 14 years, or both.