Around 100,000 British women have undergone illegal mutilation
According to reports from the Sunday Times, as many as 100,000 women in Britain have undergone female genital mutilation, with medics in the UK offering their illegal services to girls as young as ten years old.
The appalling revelation comes following the investigators’ — from the aforementioned newspaper — claims to have secretly filmed dentist, doctor and alternative medical practitioner willing to perform or arrange for the procedure to be carried out.
Britain lawfully does not allow FGM to take place neither does it allow its arrangement. Any person guilty of performing the practice, which involves the surgical removal of external genitalia and in some cases, the stitching of the vaginal opening, may face up to a 14-year prison sentence.
FGM, traditionally carried out to preserve chastity, is common practice in Africa with victims having to endure the painful procedure without the aid of anaesthetic; they frequently suffer long-term damage and pain.
Research suggests that around 6,000 in London alone and 22,000 girls in the UK are at the risk of undergoing fatal mutilation procedures every year.
The Metropolitan Police said since 2008, it had received 166 reports of people who feared they were at the risk of FGM. However, no one has ever been convicted of the offence, according to the Sunday Times.
Furthermore, the newspaper states that only two doctors have had their license revoked by the General Medical Council since 1980.
The undercover reporter was referred to a well-respected dentist by a GP who was willing to circumcise two girls, ten-year-old and a 13-year-old.
Somali model turned United Nations ambassador Waris Dirie, who underwent FGM when she was only five years old, is a strong adversary of female circumcision.
Calling for the crackdown on FGM, she said: “If a white girl is abused, the police come break down the door. If a black girl is mutilated, nobody takes care of her. This is what I call racism.”