News In Focus
MSPs call for views on proposed stronger FGM law
Holyrood’s Equalities & Human Rights Committee is inviting views from the public as it begins its detailed scrutiny of the bill to bring in additional protections for women and girls who have suffered or who are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).
Under the Female Genital Mutilation (Protection and Guidance) (Scotland) Bill, FGM protection orders could be made, imposing conditions or requirements on individuals to protect someone from FGM, or to keep an FGM victim safe. Similar orders can already be made in England & Wales. The bill also strengthens guidance to public bodies for matters related to FGM.
The committee would particularly like to hear submissions on whether protection orders and statutory guidance will be more effective in preventing FGM and safeguarding those at risk than the current approach. It further asks for suggestions on what more the Scottish Government and public services could do to strengthen FGM prevention and protection, for example on anonymity of victims, failure to protect a girl at risk of FGM, duty to notify the police of FGM, additional protections, and communicating with communities.
Committee convener Ruth Maguire MSP commented: “The committee is unequivocal in its support for protecting women and girls at risk of FGM, both to prevent it from happening, and in our desire to help those who have been subjected to it.
“We will be looking closely at how protection orders and other proposals will ensure these aims are met. To help us in this work, we want to hear a range of views and evidence.”
Click here to view the call for evidence. Responses are due by 30 August 2019.