A forthcoming bill to criminalise the barbaric act of female genital mutilation must be tightened to prevent defendants from invoking religious or cultural arguments in their defence, human rights lawyer Therese Commodini Cachia told an audience of nursing professionals.

A conference conveyed by nurses' union MUMN today heard Labour MP Chris Fearne present details of his private member's bill on FGM, the practice of removing external female genitalia.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

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