Training events for doctors on how to care for women and girls affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) will start later this month, and have been planned by the Department of Health.
The sessions, Protecting Girls from FGM — Working in Community Healthcare settings, will run from 30 June to 22 July nationwide.
This comes after prime minister David Cameron announced he will fast-track laws on taking children and women abroad for FGM, to stop an expected summer surge.
The FGM “protection orders” will allow local authorities, social workers and police to apply directly to courts. Anyone suspected of trying to take someone abroad for FGM must surrender their passport and other travel documents with immediate effect. Anyone who breaches this order could face up to five years in prison.
BMA medical ethics committee chair John Chisholm welcomed the training sessions, and said: “The BMA recognises that doctors have a vital role in breaking the generational cycle of this illegal and harmful practice.
“This is one of many measures that we hope will raise greater awareness and help support doctors who work to protect and support girls and women who are at risk of, or have undergone, FGM. FGM is a serious crime and form of abuse that no child should have to suffer,” he said.
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