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Female Genital Mutilation (Protection and Guidance) (Scotland) Bill

Overview

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is removing or damaging female genitalia for non-medical reasons.

FGM is illegal in Scotland. It’s been illegal in the UK since 1985.

This Bill amends the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005. It aims to strengthen the legal protection of those at risk of FGM. 

The Bill allows courts to impose new FGM Protection Orders. These can impose conditions or requirements to:

  • protect others from FGM happening to them
  • safeguard a person from further harm if FGM has already happened
  • otherwise prevent or reduce the likelihood of FGM offences being committed 

It will be a criminal offence to breach an FGM Protection Order.

The Bill requires Scottish Ministers to issue guidance about FGM Protection Orders. It also allows Scottish Ministers to issue guidance on anything else about preventing FGM.

You can find out more in the Scottish Government document that explains the bill.

Why the Bill was created

FGM is a crime in Scotland, but there have been no criminal prosecutions.

The Scottish Government wants to strengthen the legal protection for women and girls who have been subjected to, or who are at risk of, FGM.

FGM has no health benefits. All forms of female genital mutilation carry serious health consequences, including death.

No religion requires FGM and it's not limited to any religious group.

Global migration means that FGM is found all over the world. It's practised across different continents, countries and communities.

You can find out more in the Scottish Government document that explains the bill.

The Bill at different stages

'Bills' are proposed laws. Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) discuss them to decide if they should become law.

Here are the different versions of the Bill:

The Bill as introduced

Female Genital Mutilation (Protection and Guidance) (Scotland) Bill

The Scottish Government sends the Bill and the related documents to the Scottish Parliament.

Bill is at ScottishParliament.SC.Feature.BillComponents.Models.BillStageModel?.DefaultBillStage?.Stage_Name stage.

Where do laws come from?

The Scottish Parliament can make decisions about many things like:

  • agriculture and fisheries
  • education and training
  • environment
  • health and social services
  • housing
  • justice and policing
  • local government
  • some aspects of tax and social security

These are 'devolved matters'.

Laws that are decided by the Scottish Parliament come from:

Government Bills

These are Bills that have been introduced by the Scottish Government. They are sometimes called 'Executive Bills'.

Most of the laws that the Scottish Parliament looks at are Government Bills.

Hybrid Bills

These Bills are suggested by the Scottish Government.

As well as having an impact on a general law, they could also have an impact on organisations' or the public's private interests.

The first Hybrid Bill was the Forth Crossing Bill.

Members' Bill

These are Bills suggested by MSPs. Every MSP can try to get 2 laws passed in the time between elections. This 5-year period is called a 'parliamentary session'.

To do this, they need other MSPs from different political parties to support their Bills.

Committee Bills

These are Bills suggested by a group of MSPs called a committee.

These are Public Bills because they will change general law.

Private Bills

These are Bills suggested by a person, group or company. They usually:

  • add to an existing law
  • change an existing law

A committee would be created to work on a Private Bill.

Bill stage timeline

The Female Genital Mutilation (Protection and Guidance) (Scotland) Bill is currently at Stage 1.

Introduced

The Scottish Government sends the Bill and related documents to the Parliament.

Female Genital Mutilation (Protection and Guidance) (Bill) as introduced

Related information from the Scottish Government on the Bill

Stage 1 - General principles

Committees examine the Bill. Then MSPs vote on whether it should continue to Stage 2.

Have your say

The deadline for sharing your views on this Bill has passed. Read the views that were given.

Committees involved in this Bill

Who examined the Bill

Each Bill is examined by a 'lead committee'. This is the committee that has the subject of the Bill in its remit.

It looks at everything to do with the Bill.

Other committees may look at certain parts of the Bill if it covers subjects they deal with.