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|Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:12 am Post subject: FGM - Infibulation of girls in Italy - by Marco Petroni
|Italy: Hundreds of girls at risk of genital mutilation says MP
Rome, 27 Jan. (AKI) - At least 600 children are at risk of infibulation, an extreme form of female genital mutilation in Italy, according to conservative MP and president of Italy's Association of Moroccan Women, Souad Sbai.
"Every year in Italy there are 600 children, daughters of immigrants, that are at risk of infibulation and it all happens in total silence," said Sbai, while presenting a report by her organisation, Acmid-Donna.
"Here at Acmid-Donna have decided to sound the alarm about infibulation because unfortunately we have noticed that the practice has anything but ceased or been relegated to marginal communities of immigrants in Italy."
Sbai also spoke about the number of infibulated children after the approval of the 2006 Consolo law, enacted to prevent and prohibit female genital mutilation.
"We are particularly concerned about the rising number of infibulated children even after the Consolo law," she said.
However, Sbai said that the law was not enough to stop the cruel practice of female genital mutilation.
"Besides laws, we need to take strong action to oppose this tribal and wicked practice which has nothing to do with religions and is tied only to African cultural traditions," she said.
Sbai also accused Egyptian and Somali imams of influencing the immigrant community and the importance of making public opinion aware of the problem by starting a preventative policy.
Infibulation - the most extreme form of female circumcision is common in many parts of North and Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Somalia, parts of Kenya and Ethiopia.
Italy's 2006 Consolo law banned genital mutilation, also making it a crime for parents who attempt to sidestep the law by sending their daughters abroad.