[dehai-news] (DutchNews, Norway) Jail for parents if daughters circumcised

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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Wed Jan 28 2009 - 08:37:28 EST

Jail for parents if daughters circumcised

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Parents should face prison if they allow their daughters to be circumcised,
says junior health minister Jet Bussemaker, according to Wednesday's

Bussemaker wants parents whose roots are in 'high risk' countries to sign a
contract saying they will protect their daughters from being circumcised
or face going to prison.

The contracts would be signed before families visit countries such as Sudan,
Eritrea and Ethiopia, the paper says. If a medical examination on their
return establishes that a girl has been circumcised, the parents will be
sent to jail.

Genital mutilation of girls is illegal in the Netherlands. Bussemaker is
discussing the implementation of the new regulations with the justice

According to the junior health minister, a similar contract system in France
is proving effective.

'These parents are under enormous pressure from their family and community
to circumcise their daughters. Such a contract is needed so they can say
that they will be prosecuted if they go ahead with it,' Bussemaker tells the

The minister's announcement follows a recent report on government policy to
fight genital mutilation of girls over the past three years. The Volkskrant
reported last week that the health department's 3m budget to combat the
practice has been ineffective.

According to Bussemaker, a confidential report states that 44 cases of girls
being circumcised have been reported to the child abuse help line. As far as
possible, the parents involved will be prosecuted, the paper says.

The number of girls in the Netherlands who have been circumcised is not
known. The regional health departments say that estimates of 500 cases a
year are only 'the tip of the iceberg', the Volkskrant said.

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