High Court order granted after Staffordshire baby girl feared to be at risk of FGM

A baby girl from Staffordshire feared to be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) has today been protected from the procedure after a High Court order was granted. 

High Court order granted after Staffordshire baby girl feared to be at risk of FGM

Staffordshire County Council took the unusual step of applying for a Female Genital Mutilation Order to protect the baby after it was revealed that the mother - who comes from south-east Asia - had enquired about the procedure during a medical appointment.

FGM - which refers to any procedure that alters or injures the female genital organs for non-medical reasons and can cause complications and considerable pain - has been illegal in the UK since 1985.

The order prevents the parents from 'encouraging, agreeing or assisting' in circumcision of the baby.

At the High Court in Birmingham today, Mr Justice Keehan granted the order – the first in Staffordshire. The County Council and the parents also agreed to work together on educative work for the family.

County Councillor Mike Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Children and Community Safety said: "We have a duty to protect all children and young people in Staffordshire from harm, whether they are a resident or in the county temporarily. FGM can cause considerable pain, scarring and trauma to victims, and has no medical reason to be carried out.

"We acted quickly in this case to use a new part of the law that prevents the procedure from happening. Although this isn't something we have to deal with very often, as education into this issue increases, we anticipate the amount of cases will rise.

"We work with the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Board to train officers to recognise the risk, educate families and raise concerns as quickly as possible. We will continue this work to protect children in this county from FGM in any way we can."

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