HC Deb 25 March 1991 vol 188 c320W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received about female circumcision since 21 February; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dorrell

We have received a number of letters expressing concern about the practice of female circumcision, particularly following a recent BBC 2 programme on the subject.

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State held a meeting on the subject on 4 March 1991. Those present at the meeting were my hon. Friend the Member for Broxbourne (Mrs. Roe), Lord Kennet, Mrs. Efua Dorkenoo of FORWARD (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development) and officials of the Department.

The Department is to re-issue inter-departmental guidance on inter-agency working in cases of child protection. The new version is being revised to take account of the implementation of the Children Act 1989 and will draw attention to the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. Consideration will also be given as to how this guidance can be supported with more detailed advice.