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Training of professionals

  • Legislation should provide that health professionals, education and social service providers, youth professionals, police, prosecutors, and judicial officers receive training on the issue of FGM as a part of the core curriculum.
  • Legislation should provide that health professionals receive regular training on FGM prevention, care for victims of FGM, and the abolition of FGM medicalization. Legislation should mandate the allocation of funds for this purpose.
  • Legislation should provide that law enforcement, immigration officials, and others who may come in contact with immigrant populations that practice FGM, receive training and culturally appropriate educational programs developed by community-based organizations that provide insight into the situation of such refugee and immigrant groups and the factors that contribute to the continued practice of FGM.  

CASE STUDY: Final Report of the DAPHNE Project No. 97/2/096, “Towards a Consensus on Female Genital Mutilation in the European Union”(1998)

 The Daphne Project on Female Genital Mutilation in Europe, carried out by the International Centre for Reproductive Health, Defence for Children International section, The Netherlands and the Royal Tropical Institute of Amsterdam, sought to study the legal, medical and socio-cultural aspects of FGM in Europe and the resources available to prepare a European strategy for combating FGM. The project inventoried existing FGM-related resources and legislation in European Union countries, and issued recommendations to strengthen efforts to combat FGM on multiple levels. The project report recommended, inter alia, that:

Education for health professionals should be carried out at different levels using varied methodologies and materials: 

-Local hospitals and primary care level (general practitioners and school health services):  guidelines, study days, in-service training, information provision through hospital and university libraries;

-Academic level:  inclusion of FGM as a subject in all curricula for medical and para-medical courses, journals, textbooks;

- National level:  guidelines on the socio-cultural, medical and legal aspects of FGM for all medical and para-medical professional organizations as well as for European (para)-medical professionals working in countries where FGM is performed;

- European level:  practical courses for health care professionals 

 

Promising Practices

London Safeguarding Children Board FGM Resources

The London Safeguarding Children Board contains numerous resources related to combating FGM on its website.

  • National FGM Resources include a poster and a fact sheet to raise awareness of FGM and provides links to government resources on FGM.

In 2009, the London Safeguarding Children Board created the London FGM Resource Pack which compiles existing good practices into one resource. The Resource Pack is designed for all people who work with children, but especially midwives and other health professionals, teachers, social workers and police officers. The Resource Pack is available in English here:  London FGM Resource Pack

It contains detailed information about FGM, the legislative framework on FGM, as well as practice guidelines for various professionals on how to identify and respond to victims. The Resource Pack includes factsheets for schools, a multi-agency training power-point, as well as standard operation procedures for police. The Guidelines for health professionals includes model questions to ask women attending their clinics and guidelines for de-infibulation and ante-natal procedures. There is also advice on how community groups can help to prevent FGM, and information to help professionals discuss the issue with parents and children.

  • Sharing good practice – The website also lists specific resources such as posters, leaflets, fact sheets, and guidelines from health care agencies.
  • Metropolitan Police Female Genital Mutilation Prevention Campaign – The website also references the Metropolitan Police Services’ Project Azure “Summer Holidays are for fun” Campaign. This project recognizes that summer holidays are a time when girls are vulnerable to the practice of FGM either by being taken out of the country or staying within the country to recover. The website contains links to a variety of information created by this Campaign: 

o   Summer holidays are for fun - general project info

o   Summer is for fun - training presentation

o   General FGM information

o   2008 Printable poster designed by Young People Speak Out

o   Printable poster (Somali / English and Arabic)

o   FGM Prevalence Profile

o   Contacts and website links

The website also links to the MPS developed Standard Operating Procedures as potentially useful tools other agencies and professionals:

  •   FGM Helpline Launched in United Kingdom

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children launched a helpline and email account aimed at protecting girls in the United Kingdom from undergoing female genital mutilation. Staffed by trained child-protection advisors, the helpline offers advice, information or support to callers. While calls can remain anonymous, any information given by a caller that could help prevent a girl from undergoing FGM will be passed on to the police or social services.

The helpline number is 0800 028 3550. The email address is fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.