Human Rights Committee begins scrutiny of FGM protections



The Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee is starting its detailed scrutiny of plans to enhance protections for women and girls who have suffered or who are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).

The committee will be hearing directly from communities and individuals affected by FGM through its outreach work, as well as from officials who will be tasked with administering any changes. It has also today launched a general call for views on the issue.

The Scottish government’s current proposals include creating ‘FGM Protection Orders’. These orders would impose conditions or requirements on individuals to protect someone from FMG, or to keep an FGM victim safe.

The government estimates between four and nine applications for orders would be made each year in Scotland. The Bill also strengthens guidance to public bodies for matters related to FGM.

All local authority areas have communities potentially affected by FGM, though most affected individuals are thought to live in Glasgow, Edinburgh, or Aberdeen.

Speaking as the call for views was launched, Equalities and Human Rights committee convener, Ruth Maguire MSP, said: “Female Genital Mutilation violates the fundamental human rights and basic dignity of women and girls.

“The committee is unequivocal in its support for protecting women and girls at risk of FGM. Both to prevent it from happening, and in our desire to help those who have been subjected to it.

“We will be looking closely at how protection orders and other proposals will ensure these aims are met. To help us in this work, we want to hear a range of views and evidence.”

The call for views is open until 30 August, and can be found online at www.parliament.scot/EHRiC.