FGM victims in England may soon be able to sue the government for negligence in failing to prevent FGM. This is just one of the many novel ideas brought up by a new legal report conducted by the Bar of Human Rights in England and Wales. The Bar Committee issued the report as part of the evidence being collected for the Parliamentary Enquiry into female genital mutilation. It "concluded that the UK has been in breach of its international law obligations to protect young women and girls from mutilation." It went on to say "This constitutes a serious breach of the state's duty of care."
The treaties in question that the UK has signed include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), which commits signatories to eliminating discrimination against women. The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child requires signatories to ensure children are not treated inhumanely. In not tackling FGM, the human rights lawyers compiling the report argue that the UK has not lived up to either of these treaties, nor its obligations to prevent torture.