"Aminata", Senegal, 28 anos, vitima de mutilação genital pediu asilo a portugal, Centro Português para os Refugiados, Bobadela, 14 de julho de 2012. (ACOMPANHA TEXTO) MARIO CRUZ/LUSA

Portugal sees 101 cases of genital mutilation in 2020

Health professionals in Portugal detected 101 cases of female genital mutilation in 2020, Lusa news agency reported.

There was a decrease in the number of female genital mutilations, which consists of partial or total removal of external female genital organs, last year compared to 2019, according to data from the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, which Lusa agency had access to.

“Portugal today has a structured and qualified team of professionals in the Health Center Groups (ACES), who share resources and work in networks in the five ACES in which the project started: Almada-Seixal, Amadora, Arco Ribeirinho, Loures- Odivelas and Sintra,” the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality, Rosa Monteiro, said in a statement, according to Lusa.

In these territories, according to the same source, in 2019, a total of 68 training actions on this issue were carried out, with 1,176 professionals from key sectors including health (doctors, nurses and psychologists) and education (teachers), having received training in this area, Lusa reported.

The Regional Health Administration of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) and the High Commissioner for Migration share the coordination of the initiatives, with NGOs now receiving funding.

Rosa Monteiro’s office added that in 2020, “although constrained by the outbreak of the pandemic of covid-19, the activity of ACES remained and benefited from the close partnership with these eight NGOs in the different territories of the project.”

The first trial for a crime of female genital mutilation in Portugal took place on January 8. The practise is considered a crime since 2015, punishable by a prison sentence of two to 10 years. Rugui Djaló, a Guinean citizen residing in Portugal, was sentenced, in the Sintra Court, to a three-year prison term for the crime of genital mutilation of his daughter.

In Portugal, around 6,576 women over 15 years of age may have been subjected to female genital mutilation, according to Lusa.