A Southwark child has been temporarily protected from female genital mutilation (FGM) after a High Court judge supported Southwark Council’s effort to bar her from the leaving the country.
The girl’s mother took her from her family home when she became concerned that her father wished to bring her to West Africa for the cruel procedure.
The council applied for an FGM protection order to prevent the child from being removed from the country. Earlier this week, Mr Justice Keehan, of the Royal Courts of Justice, approved the protection order to remain in place until a full hearing on March 21.
FGM, which involves the removal of the clitoris and labia, often using a razor without the use of anaesthetic, is a huge problem in the borough.
A shocking study released last year revealed that nearly one-in-20 women in the borough are thought to have undergone FGM – the highest percentage in England and Wales. It also estimated that over ten per cent of women in the borough were born to a mother who has undergone the horrific ordeal.
Councillor Victoria Mills, Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, said: “Southwark Council prioritises the safety of children in our borough above all else, and we will use every power at our disposal to protect children from harm. FGM has no place in Southwark..”