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Following the consultation ‘Female genital mutilation: proposal to introduce a civil protection order’ launched by the Prime Minister at the Girl Summit on 22 July 2014, the government is taking forward provisions in the Serious Crime Bill to implement this proposal.
The provisions were developed in light of the consultation responses, a significant majority of which supported the proposal to introduce a civil measure. The provisions are available at the Serious Crime Bill webpage on the parliament website.
The provisions for the female genital mutilation (FGM) protection order are part of the government’s wider work to tackle FGM, with victims, communities and professionals. The FGM civil protection measure will strengthen the protection for victims or potential victims of FGM and help prevent FGM from happening in the first place.
This is a consultation on whether a specific civil law measure, similar to the Forced Marriage Protection Orders (FMPO) model, could prevent FGM and help protect women and girls at risk.
FGM has been a specific criminal offence since 1985 but there have so far been no convictions in England and Wales. A number of initiatives have been undertaken to increase reporting of the practice and support prosecutions of those involved in FGM. However, the ideal is to prevent the mutilation from happening in the first place. Existing civil law measures, although not specifically designed with such victims in mind, could apply to victims of FGM in some circumstances.