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Foreign citizens living in Britain who take their daughters overseas to undergo female genital mutilation will face up to 14 years in prison under plans for new legislation announced today.

The reform is designed to close a gap in the existing law outlawing FGM which means that foreigners who are living here, but have no official right to remain in the country permanently, cannot be taken to court for inflicting mutilation. The move was announced in the Queen's Speech, which also pledged that the UK will lead a global campaign to prevent sexual violence in war zones.

The change to FGM laws follows concern that some suspected offenders are escaping justice, including a recent case in which the alleged perpetrators were questioned on suspicion of taking a girl less than two months old to undergo FGM abroad.


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