The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Sep 14, 2012
 

Charges over genital mutilation of girls in Australia

 
 

SYDNEY (AFP) - Many cases of female genital mutilation likely go unreported in Australia, a state minister said Friday after four people were charged over the alleged circumcision of two girls aged six and seven.

Two men and two women were charged on Thursday over their involvement in the alleged mutilation of the girls in Sydney homes over the past 18 months.

New South Wales state Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward said the practice was difficult to detect.

"The pretext that is often used is that it's a religious custom, and it wouldn't be the first time that religion has been used to mutilate or damage women," she told ABC radio.