More than 30 years after female genital mutilation (FGM) was made illegal in the UK, thousands of new cases of this cruel and dangerous practice are still reported every year. In 2017 alone, the NHS recorded more than 5,000 new cases.
Despite this, in the three decades since FGM was made a specific crime, only two cases have ever reached court and no one has ever been convicted of the offence. These statistics underline the argument that legislation alone is not enough to achieve the goal of eradicating FGM by 2030.
The FGM Conference 2018 will explore how only multi-agency co-operation and community engagement can bring FGM to an end. Calling on the experiences of campaigners, healthcare practitioners and FGM survivors, this event is invaluable for anyone working in a role with safeguarding responsibilities.
Understanding the scale of the challenge
“FGM is found in many parts of the world,” said author and sociologist Hilary Burrage, who will deliver a presentation at the conference.
“North and South America, Australia, Russia, parts of Asia and now, especially with the diaspora, Europe, as well as in the most widely known locations of Africa and the Middle East.”
Understanding the multiple different cultural and community attitudes towards FGM is an essential element of the zero tolerance approach. Delegates will hear Angie Marriott, cross cultural diversity consultant at Diversity Employment Solutions, explain vital strategies to overcoming cultural barriers.
The frontline of the war against FGM
The majority of new FGM cases recorded in 2017 were reported by doctors and midwives working in maternity and obstetric units.
Attendees at the FGM Conference 2018 will hear from Florence Acquah, adult safeguarding lead nurse at London North West Healthcare Trust. The presentation will offer advice to those working in a healthcare setting and highlight what those working in law enforcement, education and other sectors can learn from the NHS.
“FGM is a crime. It is abuse against children and women. The Crown Prosecution Service has introduced a series of measures to improve the handling of such cases,” said Solicitor General Robert Buckland.
“But it is also important to remember that protection and prevention is vital.”
The FGM Conference 2018 will look at the work being done nationally but also look regionally at the work being done to combat FGM in Greater Manchester. Delegates will learn how to recognise girls at risk of FGM, understand their obligations under mandatory reporting and discover the services and support available for survivors.
The FGM Conference 2018 will be held on April 24 and is free to attend for all delegates. Click here to secure your place at the event.