The Home Office does not hold information on the legality (or otherwise) of MGM

The police report into the Home Office. You’d imagine that the police’s steadfast refusal (along with the CPS) to bring prosecutions against genital mutilators – clearly breaching the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 – would have a legal basis, or at least the claim of one. Because MGM is demonstrably illegal – it would require a parliamentary override to be legal, and that has never existed – we continue to test the point, with a series of FOI requests.

On 19 December we sent the Home Office a FOI request on MGM. The request was this:

What information does the Home Office hold on the legality (or otherwise) of the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors?

Two days ago we received their response by email. The key sentence:

The Home Office does not hold the information which you have requested.

The inevitable conclusion? The Home Office does not have a legal basis for failing to prosecute those who mutilate the genitals of male minors.

The letter ends with a disingenuous sentence about a FOI response from the Department of Health. We won’t insult your intelligence by linking to it. It basically claimed that MGM is legal because there’s no specific law against it, a position we’d destroyed in our original FOI request.

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About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Nick Langford

    So the Home Office is unable to have a view on whether chopping bits off baby boys without anaesthetic is illegal unless it “holds information” on it? What sort of information does it feel a need to hold before it can form an opinion on what to most people is blindingly obvious?

    And what about the Children and Young Persons Act 1933?

    If any person who has attained the age of sixteen years and has responsibility for any child or young person under that age, wilfully assaults, ill-treats, neglects, abandons, or exposes him, or causes or procures him to be assaulted, ill-treated, neglected, abandoned, or exposed, in a manner likely to cause him unnecessary suffering or injury to health (including injury to or loss of sight, or hearing, or limb, or organ of the body, and any mental derangement), that person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor,

    • Lawrence Newman

      It would be illegal with the anaesthetic.

  • Groan

    I don’t know quite which department it may be, probably the DoH. But ask how are non medical circumcisions are monitored. And are there arrangements for licencing or monitoring religios or cultural practitioners. Of course you may know the answers to these but the point is to get the Gov. agency to do so. Then of course the next question would be why is this regulated? Which will get you close to them admitting there is possible harm. Just suggestions: FOIs do push stuff if people keep pushing on the FIO.
    Thus far you have shown they are running scared because they don’t actually have a leg to stand on. But I’m afraid stamina is needed.
    I’m presuming they’ll be far more experienced people you will be in touch with to frame questions. MGM movement keep pushing on this. You’ve found something they’re worried about.

    • Mike Buchanan

      Groan, MGM outside the NHS is compoletely unregulated. Anyone couls set up as a circumcider today, no need for training, no need to register. We know from a recent FOI that the Dept of Health has noth the slightest interest in MGM carried out outside the NHS.

    • Lawrence Newman

      There’s no such thing as a medical circumcision. It doesn’t exist. The foreskin isn’t a disorder in need of correction and there’s nothing that can go wrong with a foreskin that would necessitate removing it. When it happens, it’s medical negligence and/or fraud.