Conservatives call for action to end FGM and modern slavery

Conservatives in Bath and North East Somerset are calling upon the council to support action to put an end to both modern slavery and female genital mutilation (FGM).

Conservative councillors have tabled two proposals to be debated at a B&NES Full Council meeting next Thursday, 15th September:

  •  The first commits the council to working towards the eradication of human trafficking and slavery – raising awareness of modern slavery, ensuring a multi-agency approach tackling the issue and supporting the work of The Anti-Slavery Partnership;
  • The second motion to be debated by councillors would commit the council to working with local schools and other partners to raise awareness of violence against women and girls, including FGM, and ensuring mandatory reporting by professionals if FGM is suspected or disclosed.

Slavery, including human trafficking and forced labour, is a crime under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, whilst FGM is illegal under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.  However, despite this, the Government estimates there are some 13,000 victims of trafficking in the UK.  It is also estimated that 103,000 women aged 15-49 with FGM, born in countries in which it is practised, were living in England and Wales in 2011.

Councillor Martin Veal (Cons, Bathavon North), who will be presenting the motions to the Council meeting, said:

“The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has committed the UK Government to leading international efforts to defeat modern slavery, having introduced the Modern Slavery Act last year as Home Secretary.

“The proposal we are tabling at next week’s Council meeting will therefore commit B&NES to supporting these efforts; ensuring the Council works with its partners in the area to raise awareness of the issue and the supports the Anti-Slavery Partnership in eradicating human trafficking and modern slavery.

“In addition, we are also committing the Council to working with local schools to raise awareness of violence against women and girls, including FGM, and ensuring a comprehensive, multi-agency approach to tackling this issue.”