Australian government pledges to tackle FGM
The Australian government has promised to do more to eradicate female genital mutilation (FGM) in the country.
Prime minister Julia Gillard has confirmed that hundreds of thousands of dollars will go towards rolling out educational campaigns to boost awareness of the practice and its consequences for women and girls.
This will be supported by the launch of new research and efforts to collect data on the issue.
The government is making this a particular priority in order to find out the true extent of the problem and establish evidence that may enable victims to receive better support.
"We do not know how widespread this practice is in Australia, but we know there have been instances, and anecdotal evidence suggests these are not isolated," Ms Gillard commented.
She insisted that one case of FGM is one too many and described the procedure as a violation of victims' human rights.
Ms Gillard added that Australia will support efforts by the international community to eliminate the practice.