“Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a brutal and inhuman practice that must be stamped out in 21st century Britain.”
That was the view of UKIP Home Affairs Spokeswoman, Jane Collins MEP, following a BBC expose, which revealed girls as young as eight were being ‘cut’ by midwives flown in to attend FGM ‘parties’ across the UK.
The NHS has recently identified as many as 8,000 women as having undergone FGM, which involves partial or full removal of the female external genitalia, often with a razor blade.
This is despite FGM being illegal in the UK and attracting sentences of up to 14 years.
Speaking of the BBC's findings, Ms Collins said, “It is an outrage that despite an estimated 137,000 women being subjected to this horrific crime in England and Wales; no-one has been successfully prosecuted for an FGM offence.”
“FGM is nothing more than a brutal, disfiguring, and sometimes life-threatening form of child abuse, and anyone found to have been promoting or carrying out this barbaric practice should have the full weight of the law brought down upon them.
“Parents are now regularly prosecuted for neglect; for smacking a child; and even taking a child out of school to go on holiday.
“So why have we had no successful prosecutions relating to FGM?
“The fact is, if the law as it stands is not working, then we as a civilised society must look ways to stamp out these horrific acts and punish offenders accordingly, including parents who allow these acts to be perpetrated.”
“That is why I want to consider new legislation based on failing to ensure the future health and wellbeing of a child.
"This legislation would allow for parents and relatives to be prosecuted for failing to protect a child from harmful practices – such as FGM – even if they only allowed a crime to take place.
“And by bring aspects of many different pieces of existing legislation under one umbrella, it will make it easier for authorities to step in to protect a child, and prosecute offenders once a victim has been identified.
“The simple fact is, it is time to end these brutal imported practises and to protect children from being disfigured in this most horrific way.
“Only by getting tough on the root causes of this vile crime will we see an end to this most horrific of acts.”