Private member’s bill to criminalize female genital mutilation

Labour MP Chris Fearne presents private member’s bill calling for the criminalisation of female genital mutilation.

MP Chris Fearne has proposed a bill to outlaw female genital mutilation, whether in Malta or abroad when it is carried out on Maltese residents.
MP Chris Fearne has proposed a bill to outlaw female genital mutilation, whether in Malta or abroad when it is carried out on Maltese residents.

A private member's bill presented by Labour MP Chris Fearne seeks the criminalisation of female genital mutilation in Malta or on Maltese residents abroad.

The bill's purpose is to make a provision for the offence of genital mutilation, forced sterilization and forced marriage, when it is carried out on women who are in Malta or have residence in Malta even if they are not in the country.

Addressing the press, Fearne said that whoever performs FGM should be liable to punishment of imprisonment, whether the act is carried out in Malta, irrespective of the girl's nationality, if it is carried out by a foreigner on a Maltese resident and if a Maltese resident is taken abroad for the intervention.

Fearne said he knows of cases where children in Malta had been taken abroad for these operations, although he is unaware as to whether the practice was being carried out on Maltese soil.

"People don't publicize this practice and therefore anyone who comes across such a situation or knows that it is happening, should now be obliged to inform the authorities," Fearne said.

The private member's bill will be brought before the House Business Committee. Government whip Carmelo Abela didn't rule out that once parliament reconvenes next week, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will make a ministerial statement on the China energy MoU.

More in National
Din hija waħda mil-uzanzi wzati fuq in-nisa min dawk ta' twemmin Musulman li daħlet f'pajjizna. Din il-liġi hija bzonjuza biex din l-uzanza tkun meqjusa li tikkostittwixxi reat kriminali, kemm jekk issir f'Malta kif ukoll jekk issir barra fuq persuni Maltin li huma mizzewwga persuni ta' twemmin Musulma. Din hija uzanza degradanti li dawn in-nisa jkollhom joqgħodu għaliha fuq insistenza ta' zwieġhom. Ressqu din il-liġi immedjatament biex din l-uzanza tant degradanti fuq in-nisa tinqata darba għall dejjem min pajjizna.
I am in full agreement with Dr Fearne. With the meteoric increase of Somalis and East African immigrants in Malta the potential for female genital mutilation in Malta has gone from 0 to substantial and we must guard against such abuses which would lead to even further attacks on the Maltese way of life. The events in Kenya are a stark reminder and wake up call to all of us, considering the masses of Somalis now in Malta, most of whom are bona fide but some of whom could be Al Shabaab or Al Qaeda sleepers ready to cause harm to our people in the most cowardly and dastardly acts as perpetrated in Nairobi this weekend.

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition