Female Genital Mutilation - We Cannot Ignore it

Published date: 
20 Mar 2008

Thursday 20 March 2008

‘The recent press coverage surrounding the case of Pamela Izevbekhai and her two young daughters, Naomi (7 years old) and Jemima (5 years old), is a distressing reminder of the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). The Government needs to realise that FGM is not just a problem in some far away land and this week’s press coverage only proves
that this problem won’t go away.

Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires the Government to properly care for and protect all children living in Ireland, thereby ensuring that they do not suffer any form of violence, abuse or neglect at the hands of those who look after them.

Nevertheless, there is currently no specific legal protection against FGM in Ireland. Neither is there specific legislation to protect a child from being removed from Ireland to have the procedure carried out overseas. The Alliance last raised this issue with the Government two years ago and we reiterate our past calls that the Government must protect children by introducing specific legislation to outlaw FGM.

The necessary legislative change should be accompanied by education and awareness-raising among relevant service providers, such as Gardaí, teachers and medical personnel, and within communities where FGM may be practiced.’

Jillian van Turnhout
Chief Executive

Children's Rights Alliance