Following today’s announcement that the first prosecution for female genital mutilation is expected to go ahead, the Catholic Church in England and Wales has stepped up its calls for the Government to ensure that victims of FGM are able to access healthcare regardless of their immigration status.
CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network), the social action arm of the Catholic Church has previously called for safeguards to be put in the Immigration Bill specifically for victims of FGM in accessing healthcare.
Commenting on the health charging provisions within the Immigration Bill and associated changes, Liam Allmark, CSAN’s Public Policy Officer said:
“It is vital that safeguards are put in place to ensure that victims of FGM and other abuses are not deterred from seeking treatment or are left unable to access free healthcare as a result of these changes. Whilst we welcome the government’s strong commitment to tackling FGM, it is essential that any changes to the health charging system are compliant with this.”
“It is especially worrying that the government does not hold information on the number of migrants who are identified as victims of FGM or who have received medical treatment for injuries sustained as a result of this horrific crime”
“All victims of FGM should be able to access treatment for their injuries regardless of their immigration status”.