Tuesday 28 February 2017

Judge issues FGM protection order for diplomat's baby daughter

Brian Farmer

The judge ruled that neither the girl, who is less than a year old, nor her parents could be identified Photo: Paul Hakimata
The judge ruled that neither the girl, who is less than a year old, nor her parents could be identified Photo: Paul Hakimata

Social workers fear the baby daughter of a west African diplomat based in England could be subjected to genital mutilation.

A family court judge has made the youngster the subject of a female genital mutilation (FGM) protection order.

Mr Justice Keehan analysed preliminary issues at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Monday, and is due to consider more evidence next month.

The judge ruled that neither the girl, who is less than a year old, nor her parents could be identified.

He heard that the youngster's mother had raised concerns and he said the local authority which had applied for the protection order was the London Borough of Southwark.

Barrister Zimran Samuel, who represented Southwark Council, outlined detail to Mr Justice Keehan.

Mr Samuel said the girl's mother had been subjected to FGM as a child.

He said she feared that family members would take the girl abroad and subject her to FGM, and that the girl's father would "fail to prevent" it.

He said the woman was "understandably very anxious".

The diplomat insisted that he posed no risk to his daughter.

He told Mr Justice Keehan that he abhorred FGM.

"I have absolutely nothing to do with this," he said.

"I would emphasise that I have absolutely no intention of taking the child anywhere. I love my daughter."

Press Association

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