FGM/C Shifting Sands

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Police secure UK conviction for FGM occurring in Kenya

Published 8 March 2024 Associated Categories Legal
Police secure a conviction for FGM occurring abroad

A British mother has been jailed (February 2024) for allowing her daughter to undergo FGM in Kenya.

Amina Noor was born in Somalia in 1984. Her family left Somalia for Kenya when she was eight years old and they lived in Kenya until she was 16. She underwent FGM as a young child.

She came to the UK to join her brothers and sisters, whilst other family members, including her mother, remained in Kenya. She did not attend school and married at 17. She was granted refugee status in 2003 and was naturalized and given UK citizenship in 2005. She has seven children, ranging in age between 21 and 2 years (2024).

Her daughter, now 21, disclosed to her school teacher in November 2018, that she had undergone FGM at three years of age, in 2006. The teacher was obliged to report this to the police.

When medically examined she was found to have undergone Type 1 FGM which “involves the removal (in whole or part) of the clitoris”.

The mother was interviewed in regard to the disclosure in January 2019. She was charged in October 2022 with assisting a non-UK (Kenyan) person to mutilate a girl’s genitalia whilst outside of the UK, contrary to section 3 of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.

In court, she testified that she had come under pressure whilst visiting her family in Kenya, to agree to her daughter undergoing the procedure.

She was found guilty by a Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) jury in October 2023 and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in February 2024. Judge Mr Justice Bryan had assessed that “pressure was no excuse whatsoever for what she had agreed to be done to her young daughter.”

Mr Bryan’s sentencing remarks can be accessed here.

This is the first time in the Metropolitan Police history where officers have secured a conviction for FGM occurring abroad. They are very proud of this achievement.

A midwife explores what the second UK conviction against FGM means for midwives, and the legislation surrounding this issue, here.

Details of all FGM Prosecutions and Conviction in England can be accessed here.

July 2024. It is worth noting that had this trial been held in Scotland, the woman would not have been convicted because the Government rationalised, following public consultation, that legislation could potentially impact negatively on individuals, especially women, who do not have the power or agency to protect persons who may be at risk of FGM.

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About the Author -

Bríd is a retired health professional. She started her career as a nurse and midwife in Africa where she worked for almost four years. She encountered FGM/C in Ethiopia. She then moved to London where she worked in the National Health Service as a midwife, community nurse, health visitor, reproductive and sexual health nurse and manager over a period of 30 years. She did not encounter FGM/C during that time despite working with immigrant communities who are reported to practice it still. She is puzzled by the current reported prevalence of the practice, the official response and associated activism. And is worried that they might cause more harm than good.


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