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Our Complicity in Female Genital Mutilation
by Ines Laufer
Frontpage Interview's guest today is Ines Laufer, founder of the TaskForce FGM in Germany that is lobbying for the safe protection of immigrant girls. In recent years, the organization has been initiating several court-proceedings to prevent girls from being taken to their countries of origin where they would face the risk of mutilation. Since April 2010, the TaskForce has been running Germany's unique emergency-hotline, SOS FGM, which provides immediate help if girls are at risk and also offers access to medical, psychological and legal help. With big success, the TaskForce launched the charity-campaign VISION ACTION CHANGE in November 2010 to unite musicians, artists and designers to take a stand against FGM. At their homonymous music-album , 14 artists from Africa, Europe and the U.S. dedicate their music to the efforts for an end of FGM.
FP: Ines Laufer, welcome to Frontpge Interview.
In our first interview two years ago, we talked about the European policy of tolerance and non-interference towards FGM. Has there been any change?
Laufer: Thanks Jamie.
Yes, we discussed the lack of protection for immigrant girls who, despite living in the EU, continue to be subjected to the mutilation with a prevalence of up to 80% within the high-risk-groups (i.e. from Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, etc.) Although politicians continuously affirm that FGM is a grievous violation of human rights, they still refuse to even discuss effective strategies, such as medical check-ups and medical professionals' duty to report mutilation when they detect it. These strategies can help pave the way for the prosecution of the perpetrators within the families and lead to a prohibition of parents taking their minor daughters to the countries of origin where they would face a high risk of being subjected to FGM.
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