Protection from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Scotland - consultation response

In January 2019 we responded to the Scottish Government consultation on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Bill. We welcome commitments to strengthen the existing legislative framework for the protection of women and girls from FGM, a form of gender based violence.

The consultation on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Bill sought views on strengthening the existing legislative framework for the protection of women and girls from FGM. It also considered provisions including the anonymity for victims, creation of an offence of failure to protect, and creation of a duty to notify police of FGM. 

On 24 May 2019, Scottish Government published analysis of the responses to the consultation on strengthening protection from FGM.

More information on mandatory reporting in England and Wales is available on our FGM resources page.

Our response

  • Provision for anonymity for victims of FGM is covered to a satisfactory degree within existing legislation. However, fines for media outlets that publish the names of FGM victims could be considered.
  • Introduction of an offence might provide further deterrent alongside the current legislation.
  • Scottish Government should introduce FGM Protection Orders, to allow agencies to protection of high risk children and young people by preventing their departure abroad for FGM. At present, this is pursued under a Child Protection Order. 

Our recommendations

  • We recommend that there is an identified lead for FGM in health, education, police and social work for each area covered by a Health Board. 
  • We recommend that there is a nationally agreed threshold to trigger either an Interagency Referral Discussion or Child Protection Referral for children at risk of FGM. 
  • We encourage healthcare professionals to routinely share information regarding significant concerns with other professionals where appropriate (ie health visitor, GP, school nurse and teacher).
  • We recommend using the Scottish Government's Getting it Right for Every Child principles as a basis for deciding how to share relevant information.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Scotland Team: