Female genital mutilation 'not just a third-world problem'

Female genital mutilation is not only a problem faced in the third world but also in countries with a migrant population from nations where the act is practised.

Stuff.co.nz highlighted a recent United Nations report that pointed out the risk to some girls in Australasia.

"A growing number of women and girls among immigrant communities have been subjected to or are at risk of female genital mutilation in Australia and New Zealand," the body was quoted as saying.

The practice is most common in Asian and African countries, but a call from the chairman of the British Medical Association's Ethical Committee Dr Tony Callard for UK doctors to be on the alert to the possibility of cutting may show the issue affects individuals across the world.

Dr Callard was quoted by healthcare magazine Pulse in recent months warning GPs to be particularly on the lookout after school summer holidays, as immigrants may have been visiting a nation where female genital mutilation is prevalent as part of their break.

The practice is also banned in New Zealand, Stuff.co.nz said, with the law stating it is illegal to send any girl outside of the country to have the procedure done, while anyone cutting a child or ordering this action on a dependent can be imprisoned for up to seven years.

Posted by Martine WardADNFCR-2094-ID-801269197-ADNFCR