Mandatory Reporting of FGM
What you need to know:
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003. It is a form of child abuse and violence against women. FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.
From October 31st onwards a duty which requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report known cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police.
Who does the duty apply to?
Currently, the duty applies to all regulated relevant professionals working within health or social care including teachers and qualified persons who are employed or engaged to carry out teaching work in schools or other institutions.
The purpose of this document:
This document works in conjunction with Working Together to Safeguard Children to give professionals subject to the duty and their employers, an understanding of the legal requirements it places on them, a suggested process to follow and an overview of action which may be taken if they fail to comply.
What should you do if you suspect FGM?
A report to your local police should be made if you are informed by a girl under the age of 18 that act of FGM has been carried out on her or, if you observe physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been undertaken on a girl under the age of 18 which was not for medical purposes.
Failure to comply with the duty:
Failure to comply will be dealt with in accordance with the existing performance procedures in place for each individual profession. FGM is classified as child abuse, and relevant professionals are expected to pay due regard to the seriousness of breaches of the duty.
For the full document on FGM click here