Lynne Featherstone MP last week hosted a second local roundtable to discuss tackling FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) in Haringey, and to plan a conference to raise awareness of the unacceptable practice across North London.
FGM is prevalent in countries like Somalia and Egypt, but also affects girls in the UK. Most commonly, young girls are sent abroad to be ‘cut.’ It has been estimated that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of FGM in the UK each year, and that 66,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of FGM.
Representatives from local health services, schools, police, community organisations and safeguarding teams attended the roundtable, and agreed that a more integrated approach to tackling and preventing FGM was desirable.
The Liberal Democrat MP and other participants will hold a conference in Haringey early next year, which will bring professionals and community groups together to discuss how to raise awareness of FGM, and prevent it happening by working together.
Lynne Featherstone MP said:
“FGM is not just a problem for other countries. Girls in Haringey and in London are at risk of this unacceptable practice, and as the local MP, I want to make sure the organisations in Haringey are doing all we can to help protect them.
“That’s why I am arranging a conference on tackling FGM in North London – in partnership with local schools, health services, safeguarding teams, police, community groups, FGM survivors and more.
“As International Development minister, I launched a £35 million international programme to help end FGM within a generation. With help from survivors, the media and others, tackling and preventing FGM is now at the top of the agenda.
“I have now been promoted to Minister of State in the Home Office. Here, I look forward to working more on the prevention of FGM, and tackling other forms of violence against women, in our country.”