Mandatory reporting of FGM announced for teachers and other front line professionals

The government has announced that front line professionals including teachers will have a mandatory duty to report cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)…

The government has tabled amendments to the Serious Crime Bill to ensure the new duty is legislated for ahead of the dissolution of Parliament. The government will also include a measure to provide multi-agency statutory guidance for front line professionals.

The move follows a public consultation which sought views from a wide range of professionals, community groups, survivors and law enforcement on how a mandatory reporting duty could work and who it should apply to. A summary of responses to the consultation has also been published today…

The proposed mandatory duty will:

Apply in cases of ‘known’ FGM – i.e. instances which are disclosed by the victim and/or are visually confirmed. This is in line with the majority of the consultation responses

Be limited to victims under 18 – those responding to the consultation held differing views on whether the duty should be limited to under 18s, but a number highlighted concerns regarding extending the duty to adults, including the risk that this could deter women from seeking medical advice and assistance

Apply to all regulated healthcare and social care professionals, and teachers

Require reports to be made to the police within one month of initial disclosure/identification – depending on the circumstances of the case, this will not necessarily trigger automatic arrests; the police will then work with the relevant agencies to ensure an appropriate safeguarding response is put in place which places the interests of the child front and centre

Failure to comply with the duty will be dealt with via existing disciplinary measures, which may include referral to the professional regulator and/or Disclosure and Barring Service as appropriate – this will ensure that all breaches are dealt with appropriately and in accordance with the specifics of the individual case and is in line with the approach favoured by the majority of respondents to the consultation

The new duty is one strand of a wide range of measures the government has taken to help stop FGM including updating multi-agency guidelines, introducing an NHS prevention programme and providing training for NHS staff, prosecutors and police…

More at: Crime Prevention Minister announces mandatory reporting of FGM

 

Do you welcome this move by the government? Any concerns? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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