Brits Fight Genital Mutilation

Outlawed practice persists; offer reward for info
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2007 12:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – Britain is cracking down on female genital mutilation, banned in 2003 but still prevalent among immigrants from Africa and the Mideast. A campaign that begins today aims to raise awareness and enlist help in tracking down those who arrange or carry out the procedure, done on an estimated 400 to 500 girls a year. A $40,000 reward is offered for info leading to the first prosecution.

Authorities estimate 66,000 girls in Britain face the threat of mutilation; the risk rises in summer, when girls are often sent back home to have it done, and there's more time to recover without attracting attention. "This is a brutal attack on children," a police official tells the Guardian. "This is child abuse."