We received almost 10,500 signatures. The support for this call has been resounding.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were unable to present these signatures to our elected representatives in-person and so this week, we have emailed all 160 TDs and 60 Senators asking them to pledge their support to end FGM in Ireland by 2030.
Over the coming weeks, we will be championing all of the elected representatives who have supported our call. We will be tweeting about them and posting on our website here.
We are asking the Government to commit to the development and implementation of a National Action Plan on FGM in collaboration with state-bodies, civil society groups and affected communities. This is a key recommendation of the National Steering Committee on FGM.
We need a Government-led response that includes prevention and support.
According to the Central Statistics Office, over 6,000 women and girls in Ireland are survivors of FGM, and there are an estimated 1,600 deemed at-risk. This figure is likely to be an underestimate.
In January 2020, we saw the first FGM conviction in Ireland. The victim was a two-year-old girl.
ActionAid has been working to end FGM in Ireland and abroad for many years. We are deeply concerned that COVID-19 will drive FGM further underground in Ireland.
Programmes addressing FGM are often communal. Their delivery is not possible during COVID-19 restrictions. Without such programmes, the UNFPA’s estimates that an additional 2 million cases of FGM could take place over the next 10 years.
We need to protect these at-risk girls, and support those who have survived this practice in Ireland.
Thousands of people have shown their commitment to ending to FGM in Ireland. Now, it is up to our Government to take leadership. See a link to our letter here