Written Answers. - Female Circumcision.

Liz McManus

Ceist:

328 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Health and Children the legal safeguards in existence to ensure that no female circumcisions are carried out here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7570/01]

Female circumcision or female genital mutilation (FGM) is a harmful traditional practice which continues in some developing countries. It constitutes an assault that causes serious harm to girls and women on whom it is carried out. Such an act is an offence under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997. It would, therefore, be a matter for the Garda to prosecute those who perform FGM. My Department has also written to the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform asking it to arrange through the Directorate for Asylum Support Services that asylum seekers are made aware of the situation.