The horrific ritual of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985. Despite it still being widely practised in some communities in London, there has not yet been a single prosecution.
I recently attended a hearing in Brussels organised by my colleague Marina Yannakoudakis MEP that brought together experts from different fields and nationalities to share their experience and knowledge.
We heard from Alimatu Dimonekene, a brave FGM victim from London who gave a horrifying account of her experience at the hands of family members, leaving her with physical and mental scars.
We have to seek greater prosecution of those involved in the barbaric practice of FGM, not least so that this acts as a deterrent to others and as punishment for their cruel abuse of girls and young women.
This is a crime and a human-rights violation. If you suspect any person of plotting female genital mutilation or being involved in its practice, please do not hesitate to call the police.
Syed Kamall, Conservative MEP for London