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Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Bill, Stage 3 Debate, 26/05/05 [S]

The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Bill was passed in Parliament on 26 May 2005. The Bill will provide further protection against female genital mutilation (FGM). Included in the Bill are provisions that will make it an offence to send a United Kingdom national or permanent UK resident abroad for FGM.

Ministers welcomed the Bill, particularly the extension to section 1 that will protect not only UK nationals, but asylum seekers from FGM and the extension to section 6 that will allow courts to refer any victim of FGM who is under 17 to the reporter to the children's panel, who can then refer to a children's hearing.

Also highlighted were the amendments that will allow ministers to amend certain aspects of the offence of female genital mutilation and the circumstances in which no offence is committed. This would allow for any changes in the definition of FGM in the future.

Ministers also recognised that legislation alone is not enough to solve the problem. Education and awareness training is also needed. Hugh Henry, Deputy Minister for Justice, said that guidance for health professionals will be issued in Autumn and development work will be an on-going process.

After debate the Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The full debate can be read in the Official Report 26 May 2005. The publication of the Bill as passed can be found on the Scottish Executive website.

Further Information

  1. Official Report 26 May 2005
  2. Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Bill (as passed)