Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (153)

Ruth Coppinger


153. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the delivery of awareness programmes for female genital mutilation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7757/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012 provides for the creation of an offence of female genital mutilation and other offences relating to female genital mutilation (FGM). The legislation takes a human rights perspective and stipulates that the right to practise one's cultural traditions and beliefs cannot be used to justify FGM.

The HSE is committed to progressing health-related elements of FGM with specific reference to awareness-raising among at risk communities, staff information and support. An FGM resource pack for health professionals and relevant staff in maternity and associated settings has been disseminated. The HSE provides funding to AkiDwA, a national network of migrant women, to facilitate working with target communities around raising awareness of the illegality of FGM and sharing information about the risks of this practice.

The HSE funds a specialist clinic operated by the Irish Family Planning Association for girls and women who have undergone FGM.

The project referred to by the Deputy is run by an NGO, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The project is funded under the EU Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme, administered by the European Commission.

I would advise anyone who may be affected by or at risk of FGM, especially women and parents of young girls, to contact the HSE or AkiDwA.