Stamping out Female Genital Mutilation and other anti-child "cultural" practices

MichaelR

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Might it be time to do something to stamp out female genital mutilation (FGM) and other practices that abuse children in the name of "culture"? (Male circumcision is permitted - debatable, but even if it is, it should still be punished when done outside a proper licensed medical facility, endangering the child).

Ireland does have an FGM act Criminal Justice (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2012 but no prosecutions. It also has an extremely troubling precedent, where a quack from Nigeria (not a Muslim, actually) butchered a male baby to death by a botched circumcision and was acquitted in 2005 after a judge made a direction to the jury to ignore "white culture" Jury clears Nigerian man involved in circumcision death case - Independent.ie . This precedent seems to threaten any subsequent prosecution for "cultural practices".

So questions:

- Might it be possible to add criminalization of parents and guardians who consent to their children being subjected to FGM or being taken out of the country for the purpose of FGM? This does not need to involve long jail times, but should be severe enough to cause all children to be taken away from the families permanently as such homes are a danger to children. Such a threat could be effective in making parents report those who pressure them to have the children subjected to the procedure.

- Perhaps add FGM offences to the list of sexual offences, so that convicts could be put on the register, but more importantly so that specialized services for child sex abuse could target FGM?

- Is there a way to quash the 2005 precedent? Is there some organized body in Ireland that reviews conduct of judges? While an acquittal can not be reversed and it is also impossible to censure Justice Kevin Haugh, who died in 2009, could it be made clear somehow that his direction was inappropriate? Who would need to initiate such a process?

It seems clear that the politician "on" this is Ivana Bacik https://www.labour.ie/news/2016/10/26/senator-bacik-seeks-clarification-on-incidence-of/
 


petaljam

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I agree the current law should be modified to include protection against children being taken out of the country to be mutilated elsewhere. I'm not sure why that seems to be insurmountable for Ireland.

As for the precedent about tradition, presumably there have been previous examples of legal precedent being overthrown - or have there? If not, then clearly it would require a law making such a judgment impossible in the future - again, something that could be done if there was the will.
 

razorblade

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Imprison or deport anyone found to be guilty of it, a zero tolerance approach needs to be taken towards this practice, it can only happen if you allow it so dont.
 

MichaelR

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The current law does include the offence of taking a child out to be mutilated elsewhere. However, the parents/guardians are apparently not under direct threat unless they do it personally.

I think they should be made liable, and GPs should be mandatory reporters. As I understand, GPs are already mandatory reporters for abuse, this probably just needs clarification. Perhaps make schools mandatory reporters, too. And institute some sort of mandatory GP review of children at a couple of ages for good measure - if it is also free, very few would object.

The idea is to make parents liable by default if their child is found to be mutilated; perhaps not "lock up, throw away the key" liable, but "say goodbye to all your children and get a criminal record" liable. Confronted with the possibility of losing children, they might talk about the immediate perpetrators.
 

petaljam

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The current law does include the offence of taking a child out to be mutilated elsewhere. However, the parents/guardians are apparently not under direct threat unless they do it personally.
This is strange, if true : how can parents not be liable for allowing the child to be taken abroad in or to the care of people who may carry out illegal surgery on it? Surely that's gross negligence unless they have evidence they had no knowledge of what was planned? (Bringing the crime to the police's knowledge would be the kind of evidence I'm thinking would be proof they didn't want it to happen, but if it's discovered in some other way then there's a strong case that the parents were complicit.)

I think they should be made liable, and GPs should be mandatory reporters. As I understand, GPs are already mandatory reporters for abuse, this probably just needs clarification. Perhaps make schools mandatory reporters, too. And institute some sort of mandatory GP review of children at a couple of ages for good measure - if it is also free, very few would object.

The idea is to make parents liable by default if their child is found to be mutilated; perhaps not "lock up, throw away the key" liable, but "say goodbye to all your children and get a criminal record" liable. Confronted with the possibility of losing children, they might talk about the immediate perpetrators.
Yes.
 

silverharp

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diversity is our strength , who is to say if its right or wrong and its their culture, it doesnt affect the rest of us.
 

GDPR

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Moi thinks this fred has very little to do with FGM and a lot to do with Muslim-bashing...

MichaelR has form in setting these OPs up.
 

MichaelR

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Moi thinks this fred has very little to do with FGM and a lot to do with Muslim-bashing...

MichaelR has form in setting these OPs up.
I have very explicitly pointed out that the Nigerian who butchered the baby was not a Muslim. I'll be even more specific now - he was a Christian. Jury clears Nigerian man involved in circumcision death case - Independent.ie : 'As her husband [the butcher] left his seat there were shouts from a family friend of "thank you Jesus, thank my Jesus".'

FGM is also reported outside of the Muslim community as well as inside it. This is not a Muslim-only problem. One could claim immigrant-bashing, except I *am* an immigrant (from Russia). So yup, I have form.

Moreover, FGM exists in some parts of Russia, so any blanket checks would include my own family and my (original) compatriots. Which is not a problem.
 
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Fr Peter McWhinger

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I have very explicitly pointed out that the Nigerian who butchered the baby was not a Muslim. I'll be even more specific now - he was a Christian. Jury clears Nigerian man involved in circumcision death case - Independent.ie : 'As her husband [the butcher] left his seat there were shouts from a family friend of "thank you Jesus, thank my Jesus".'

FGM is also reported outside of the Muslim community as well as inside it. This is not a Muslim-only problem. One could claim immigrant-bashing, except I *am* an immigrant. So yup, I have form.
Why limit prosecutions according to the religion of parents or medical practitioners?
We also need new offences for medical practitioners not reporting FGM.
 

mr_anderson

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No one who would do such a thing or allow it to be done should be admitted to Ireland in the first place.
We should deport everyone associated with it.
Unfortunately, the very people screaming at the Irish government to do something about it, are the same people screaming at the Irish government to allow the perpetrators in.

From 2013 ...
Last week, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood issued a strongly-worded statement unabashedly rejecting the draft UN declaration calling for an end to all forms of violence against women. It claims that the declaration contravenes Egypt's "cultural specificity" and would lead to "the complete disintegration of society" if ratified. Needless to say, the statement has fuelled the anger of Egyptians, especially women.
...
The Brotherhood and its offspring, the presidency, never considered violence against women to be an important issue, even when they said otherwise. Their support of female genital mutilation (FGM) is just one example.
...
The Brotherhood's statement has exposed it for what it really is: a misogynistic, power-hungry and hopelessly anachronistic organisation.



Ridding Ireland of FGM is easy.
But the snowflakes can't stomach that certain cultures will have their feelings hurt.
So in typical Irish fashion, they're all talk no action.
 

Sync

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I agree the current law should be modified to include protection against children being taken out of the country to be mutilated elsewhere. I'm not sure why that seems to be insurmountable for Ireland.
.
Because it's a slippery slope. The second you enable people to be convicted in Ireland for something they do legally in another country, we're back to prosecuting abortion seekers, drug users from Amsterdam etc. It could never be sustained in appeal court hearings. We have a jurisdiction.
 

Vega1447

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Because it's a slippery slope. The second you enable people to be convicted in Ireland for something they do legally in another country, we're back to prosecuting abortion seekers, drug users from Amsterdam etc. It could never be sustained in appeal court hearings. We have a jurisdiction.
That's nonsense.

Taking an Irish child abroad and mutilating her should not be prosecuted?
 

mr_anderson

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Because it's a slippery slope. The second you enable people to be convicted in Ireland for something they do legally in another country, we're back to prosecuting abortion seekers, drug users from Amsterdam etc. It could never be sustained in appeal court hearings. We have a jurisdiction.
The key is consent.
An infant cannot consent.
 

petaljam

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Because it's a slippery slope. The second you enable people to be convicted in Ireland for something they do legally in another country, we're back to prosecuting abortion seekers, drug users from Amsterdam etc. It could never be sustained in appeal court hearings. We have a jurisdiction.
Drug use abroad is a non issue, other countries have such laws and nobody seems to have similar concerns.

The UK, France and I believe the US too, all have some laws which apply to their citizens abroad. Only for very serious and very specific offences like child abuse. Travelling to Syria to fight with ISIS is another.
Is that allowed in Irish law btw?

1) It would only concern the most serious crimes, and 2) it involves carrying out a crime on an Irish resident. The fact of taking the child abroad can't make it legal, that's unacceptable.

(And yes you're right that currently that's the case with abortion, but hopefully after the next referendum that too will be cleared up, thereby also allowing the country to deal with issues like this, unhampered by ostrich-like pretences about travel.)
 

stopdoingstuff

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Because it's a slippery slope. The second you enable people to be convicted in Ireland for something they do legally in another country, we're back to prosecuting abortion seekers, drug users from Amsterdam etc. It could never be sustained in appeal court hearings. We have a jurisdiction.
That is a good point. However if we were to view it in terms of FGM being a human rights violation as opposed to a run-of-the-mill assault, there may (I don't know) be precedents for domestic courts in other countries hearing cases in respect of matters that happened elsewhere.
 

amist4

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I agree the current law should be modified to include protection against children being taken out of the country to be mutilated elsewhere. I'm not sure why that seems to be insurmountable for Ireland.

As for the precedent about tradition, presumably there have been previous examples of legal precedent being overthrown - or have there? If not, then clearly it would require a law making such a judgment impossible in the future - again, something that could be done if there was the will.
So not only would the law be seen to be doing nothing about FGM here, it could claim the same futility elsewhere.

This law was introduced as a smokescreen when thousands of lying Nigerian females were rocking up, claiming their savages of relatives were trailing after them looking to hack their genitals off. Oddly enough, as one death proved, demand remained solid amongst some, even when they were 'safe'.

Once sufficient asylum claims were rejected, the problem mysteriously went away. Scammy Pammy also helped to be fair.
 

petaljam

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So not only would the law be seen to be doing nothing about FGM here, it could claim the same usefullness elsewhere.

This law was introduced as a smokescreen when thousands of Nigerian females were rocking up, claiming their savages of relatives were trailing after them looking to hack their genitals off. Oddly enough, as one death proved, demand remained solid amongst some, even when they were 'safe'.
I don't know about that. There's a risk of it not being a very effective by a the nature of the crime, sure.

No law stops an illegal activity completely though, it's also about being able to prevent it in the future. And that's more likely to be how this law would be effective.

But yes, a couple of convictions would be needed first, and that requires the health services and justice system to step up.
It was done in France 10 years ago and seems to be effective.

OTOH Irish governments don't have much of a record of moral courage it seems.
 


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