Courts should be given new powers to prevent girls being taken abroad if they are at risk of genital mutilation, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said on Thursday.

In an interview with the House Magazine in the runup to the Labour conference, she said a Labour government would introduce female genital mutilation (FGM) protection orders, giving legal powers for civil courts to intervene and prevent FGM, including by preventing the removal abroad of a child at risk.

A similar kind of protection order has been put in place to prevent forced marriages. Forced marriage protection orders were introduced into law in 2007 and have been used more than 600 times. Girls at risk are protected from marrying against their will and the orders can stop parents being able to take their children abroad.

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