The following was sent to local media on Monday 10 February 2014
UK Conservatives in the European Parliament have been at the forefront in the battle to eradicate the scandal of female genital mutilation (FGM). UK Conservatives have pushed successfully for a “a zero-tolerance approach” to the issue with 500,000 girls, from the age of only three, deemed at risk in Europe of being subjected to the barbaric practice of cutting away sexual body parts to fulfil cultural tradition. In the United Kingdom it is estimated 65,000 girls were at risk, most are believed to be in London.
MEPs from across Europe voted overwhelmingly to adopt a report which calls for concerted action across the European Union to end the global disgrace of mutilating children and women.
The resolution urges the EU Commission and its diplomatic arm the External Action Service to take a firm stance against non-European Union countries which fail to condemn FGM. It also demands that member states must pursue, prosecute and punish any EU resident involved in the ritual cutting of the genitals of young girls.
It defines the practice as a gross form of violence against women and children and calls for more thorough data to be collected on its frequency and distribution.