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Ireland - Comhlamh wants Irish banon female circumcision... [The Irish Times]

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  • Brenda Lana Smith R.af D.
    ireland.com - The Irish Times - IRELAND http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2001/0301/hom10.htm Thursday, March 01, 2001 Comhlamh wants Irish ban on
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2001
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      ireland.com - The Irish Times - IRELAND
      http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ireland/2001/0301/hom10.htm
      Thursday, March 01, 2001

      Comhlamh wants Irish ban
      on female circumcision
      By Nuala Haughey, Social and Racial Affairs Correspondent

      The practice of female genital mutilation should be specifically outlawed in
      Ireland, according to a voluntary organisation of development workers,
      Comhlámh.

      The call for the criminalisation of the procedure - common in parts of
      Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia - follows growing concern that
      immigrants may begin carrying it out in Ireland.

      Comhlámh says the criminalisation of the practice should be accompanied by
      education and awareness-raising programmes.

      Its co-ordinator, Mr Colm Ó Cuanacháin said the trend in other European
      countries is that immigrant communities from countries where it is practised
      usually maintain the tradition.

      "There should be explicit reference to female genital mutilation in Irish
      legislation rather than it being covered by more general laws," he said. "It
      would be a preemptive strike."

      Mr Ó Cuanachái n acknowledged there are "cultural sensitivities" surrounding
      the practice but "the bottom line is that it's torture and we cannot sustain
      any cultural norm which involved torture of children, regardless of the
      sensitivities and traditions".

      A public meeting in Dublin yesterday, organised by Comhlámh, was told that
      doctors in maternity hospitals are increasingly seeing pregnant women who
      have been genitally mutilated as children.

      Dr Valerie Donnelly, a gynaecologist who has worked in two Dublin maternity
      hospitals, said she had come across a case per month in recent times.

      Dr Donnelly, who is the Irish representative on a European Commission
      committee examining the practice, said there were problems with
      criminalising female genital mutilation, but advocated some sort of ban.

      An asylum-seeker from Nigeria, who campaigned against the procedure there as
      a midwife, told the meeting she did not want the practice to be carried out
      in Ireland among immigrants.

      The term female genital mutilation refers to all procedures to partially or
      totally remove the genital organs for non-therapeutic reasons.

      The World Health Organisation estimates that at least two million girls a
      year are at risk of genital mutilation and up to 132 million have undergone
      it. Comhlámh is holding further public meetings on the topic today in Cork
      and tomorrow in Limerick.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      © 2001 ireland.com

      --
      Kindly appreciate that Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. had no editorial input
      whatsoever in the above...
      -------------------------------------------------
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