• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Female mutilation action call

A strategy to prevent female genital mutilation (FGM) should be brought forward by the Scottish Government following a lack of prosecutions for the crime, Labour have said.

At least 3000 women are at risk of the illegal practice, yet no prosecutions have been achieved and no police reports have been filed in Scotland, according to Labour's Jenny Marra.

The revelations were first publicised by The Herald last month.

Yesterday Ms Marra used a debate on human rights at Holyrood to call for action to tackle FGM, arguing that legislation banning it is not enough.

She told MSPs that women and girls are "sewn up like rag dolls, only to be unsewn again for sex or childbirth".

"These women and little girls suffer from chronic psychological and physical pain, and they can be left infertile, and on occasion they can simply bleed to death," she said.

"The Scottish Government has not tried to scope the extent of this human rights abuse in Scotland, much less challenge it.

"Why? Because it involves little girls, their genitals, race and where they come from. It involves challenging a culture where many women who have undergone FGM themselves still believe it is an acceptable practice. It is the Government's responsibility to enforce the law."

Ms Marra's comments on FGM came as MSPs welcomed the launch of Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights, developed by the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: "Human rights are more than just mere legal instruments. They are the fundamental freedoms and rights to which everyone is entitled."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

199264