Australia's NSW Raises Maximum Penalty for Female Genital Mutilation
By Reissa Su | February 6, 2014 5:52 PM EST
The New South Wales Government has moved to increase the penalty for female genital mutilation. The maximum penalty is now 21 years instead of seven as the government makes it illegal to take a female out of the state to let her genitals mutilated somewhere else.
A man carries a baby at a busy area of downtown Shanghai November 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
The implementation of the new law will close the loophole which allowed a person to take advantage of it and take a child outside Australia to undergo female mutilation to escape punishment.
According to Community Services Minister Pru Goward, a person will be charged with female genital mutilation offences even if he or she is a doctor, a nurse or a relative buying a plane ticket. Anyone who is involved will be charged.
The NSW government expects to see more prosecutions for female genital mutilation as a result. Minister for Communities Victor Dominello said it was difficult to assess how the practice is widespread in NSW due to the secrecy surrounding female genital mutilation.
Mr Dominello said it is a "barbaric practice" that should have been left in the Dark Ages and NSW is showing it will not tolerate offenders.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner said it is usually the health professionals who notice and report cases of female genital mutilation. They are also responsible for providing long-term treatment to victims.
ABC also reported that NSW Health will help develop education programmes for culturally diverse communities to spread awareness on the health effects of female genital mutilation.
A father in Sydney, Australia has been charged by authorities for consenting to the genital mutilation of his infant daughter during a holiday trip abroad.
According to the police, the man travelled with his family in February 2012. It was also during that time the father consented to have his nine-month-old baby undergo female circumcision. It was only six months later that the mother realised what her partner had done when she took her baby to the doctor.
NSW Police Child Abuse Squad was alerted of the incident. The father was arrested on Dec 31, following police investigations. He was charged with aiding/abetting/counseling or procurement of female genital mutilation.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- ISIS War to Last For 4 Years; US Military Shows Videos of Airstrikes Hitting Militant Base [VIDEO]
- Australia's Chance Of El Niño Rises To 70%; Heatwaves And Drought To Persist
- Australia Joins Global Effort to Stop Russian Website From Illegally Streaming Web Cam Feeds
- Ebola Stock Companies Suspended From Trading For Unverifiable Claims
- Former Malaysian Envoy Denies Assault Charges in New Zealand, Elects Trial By Jury
- Walmart Early Price Matching Special Event On Nov. 21, 2014 Matches Its Competitors' Black Friday 2014 Prices And Includes Exclusive Deals For Samsung LED HDTVs And iPad Air 2 [WATCH VIDEO]
- US Plane Flying Over Russian Skies Spotted; Vladimir Putin Ready For 'Practical Cooperation' With US
- Black Friday 2014 Sale: Top Deals On Game Consoles Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Wii U And More
- Walmart Pre-Black Friday 2014 Sale On Nov. 21, 2014 Includes Discounts On The 'NBA 2K15' For PS4 And The 'Skylanders Trap Team’ Starter Kit [WATCH VIDEO]
- Alleged 'Microsoft Lumia 1030' Front Panel Leaked With Capacitive Buttons; 'Xbox One' Owners To Get Free Goodies On Anniversary
- More Bad News for Android 5.0 Lollipop As Problems Come In for Nexus and Other Devices
- Cold War 2: Russia, China And North Korea’s Blacklisted Company Fortify Alliance -- Reports