[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 May, 2005, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Circumcision move secures support
Committee room
A Holyrood committee has considered the proposals
The Scottish Parliament is set to go further than Westminster in responding to cases of female circumcision.

Anyone who takes a young girl abroad for the operation faces prosecution in the Scottish courts.

Westminster made it illegal in 2003 to aid and abet genital mutilation, even if it is carried out overseas.

The law only applies to the children of UK citizens, but the Scottish bill would extend that to children of asylum seekers and other non-UK citizens.

The move, which is known as extra-territorial jurisdiction, is extremely rare.

Vulnerable girls

Deputy Justice Minister Hugh Henry has accepted an amendment moved by Labour MSP Elaine Smith.

He said he was glad Scotland was now offering protection to vulnerable girls whatever their nationality.

Female circumcision was outlawed in Britain in 1985, but is still common in some parts of Africa.

The Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Bill is currently passing through Holyrood.

Last year the equal opportunities committee heard claims that girls from Scotland were being sent abroad to undergo genital mutilation.


SEE ALSO:
MSPs told of circumcision fears
14 Dec 04 |  Scotland
'I had female circumcision'
13 May 04 |  Health


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific