Comment: Hidden danger of FGM needs urgent action
Tanya Barron, Chief Executive at children’s charity Plan International UK, which campaigns to end FGM globally, says: “Today’s figures show that female genital mutilation is a hidden danger that continues to threaten girls at home and around the world.
“We must take urgent action to stop this fundamental abuse of girls’ rights, which can cause severe psychological and physical damage and in some cases, be fatal.
“Every part of society has a part to play. From health professionals to social workers to teachers, there needs to be proper, holistic understanding of FGM, its affects, and the warning signs when a girl is at risk.
“Teachers in particular should be trained to be able to identify FGM, its devastating impact and how they can best support students who are affected or potentially affected. That’s why we are supporting #TrainToProtect, a campaign led by youth advocacy project, Youth For Change.
“But these approaches are just one part of tackling a wider global problem. FGM does not respect borders. If we are to stop this fundamental abuse of girls’ rights in the UK and abroad our response must be part of a wider international movement.
“It is only by working with governments, NGOs and crucially at grassroots level in the UK and abroad that we have any hope of ending this violent practice once and for all.”