Female Genital Mutilation Exploitation Parallels Human Trafficking Scourge Around the World
Right Here in America, Little Girls Are Trafficked Across State Lines for Brutal FGM Procedures; #EndFGMToday
Washington, D.C.—As Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to a close, international child advocate Elizabeth Yore, head of the #EndFGMToday initiative, hopes the world will not forget the thousands of little girls who are trafficked across state lines and into other countries for harrowing female genital mutilation procedures. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 513,000 women and girls in the U.S. are at risk for this brutal practice.
Yore recently wrote an op-ed for The Christian Post about the horrors of human trafficking, especially for women and Christians.
“Missing from all the global human rights seminars, celebrity public service announcements, blue ribbon campaigns and Hollywood events is any mention of the hideous growing global human trafficking and persecution of Christians around the world,” Yore said. “Christian victims of human trafficking and violence seldom merit a mention in the hype and hoopla.”
Yore pointed to the recent 2018 Open Doors report, which reveals shocking and disturbing data about the rise in abduction and rape of Christian women around the world. According to the report, 3,066 Christians were killed in 2017; 1,252 were abducted; and 1,020 were raped or sexually harassed.
“These growing, brutal and verifiable statistics demonstrate the increased threat to Christians around the world,” Yore said. “Abduction and rape are the weapons human traffickers deploy against helpless Christian women. Criminal traffickers target Christian women and girls for the crime of living their Christian religion.”
Non-Christian girls and women right here in the U.S., however, are also trafficked across state lines for the horrific practice of female genital mutilation.
Currently, the first federal FGM prosecution is under way in Michigan, where Dr. Jumana Nagarwala has been charged—and released on bond—for allegedly inflicting FGM on 7-year-old girls. She, along with her alleged conspirators, is part of the Muslim sect Dawoodi Bohra, which mandates this horrific practice on their young daughters. Nagarwala is charged with conspiracy, genital mutilation, lying to a federal agent and obstructing an official proceeding.
Many girls like those in Michigan who endure this horror are taken on “cutting vacations” by their parents to engage in this practice that leaves both physical and emotional scars for a lifetime. More states are enacting their own anti-FGM laws, or if already in existence, adding tougher penalties. Currently, 26 states have laws criminalizing FGM. Just yesterday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives took an important step toward enacting such a law when the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee unanimously approved (21-0) an FGM prohibition for consideration by the full House.
Yore also noted that the number of potential FGM victims is likely vastly underreported here. For example, despite the fact that the World Health Organization and the United Nations have declared FGM a violation of human rights, more than 200 million women and girls are estimated to be subjected to this torture around the world.
Learn more at www.EndFGMToday.com and on social media at #EndFGMToday about FGM and efforts underway in the U.S. to stop it.