Government working to bring back FGM legislation

11 February 2019

Following Sir Christopher Chope's objection to the second reading of the Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill, Wera Hobhouse asked an urgent question to the Government on legislation against female genital mutilation.

The Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill is a Private Members' Bill which was scheduled to have its second reading in the Commons on Friday 8 February 2019. However, due to the objection from Conservative MP for Christchurch, Sir Christopher Chope, the Bill was denied a second reading.

Speaking for the Government, Lucy Frazer, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, said the objection to the Bill was "disappointing" but that work was being done to bring it back in Government time.

Hobhouse welcomed the news, and asked for an update on existing regulation relating to female genital mutilation. She also called on the Government to review recommendations from the Procedure Committee that would prevent individual backbenchers from blocking widely supported Private Member's Bills.

What is The Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill?

The Bill aims to enable the courts to make interim care orders under the Children Act 1989 in child cases relating to FGM. The Bill has completed all its stages in the Lords and is currently in the Commons.

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