Orchid Project response to today’s FGM conviction at Old Bailey

Wednesday 02 January 2019

Our mission as an organisation is to end female genital cutting (FGC) globally.  As such we welcome a judgement that we hope will serve to protect children from this harmful practice.

Julia Lalla-Maharajh OBE, CEO and Founder of Orchid Project, a charity with a vision of a world free from FGC, said: “This case is also significant because it raises the important fact that female genital cutting is frequently carried out on girls under the age of five.  This is true in the majority of cases worldwide.”

However, this is the first conviction we are seeing despite legislation being in place since 1985, and then updated in 2003 and 2015.

We hope that this conviction will contribute to highlighting this practice, how it impacts on young girls, and galvanise the necessary focus and resources to end it.

There are positive steps being taken to end female genital cutting around the world – which are rooted in communities reflecting on and abandoning the practice themselves. But more dedicated commitment is needed.

Interviewee available immediately. Contact julia@orchidproject.org +44 (0) 7876 654 243.


Notes to Editors

About Orchid Project

Orchid Project is a London-based charity with a vision of a world free from FGC. It is our mission to foster and accelerate abandonment of FGC around the world. We achieve this by partnering with organisations that deliver a sustainable, proven end to FGC; sharing knowledge and the potential to end the practice within a generation; and advocating to ensure that stakeholders prioritise and resource an end to FGC.

About FGC

FGC is the forcible removal of all or part of a girl’s external genitals and the average age a girls is cut is under 5 years old.

The type of cutting varies in different communities. It ranges from cliterodectomy (removal of the clitoris) to infibulation – which can include complete removal of the external genitalia and sewing together to seal the wound that remains, with a small hole left for menstruation and urination.

At least 200 million women and girls are affected by FGC, in 45 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and within the global diaspora.

For more information go to orchidproject.org.

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