A group of paediatricians have criticised Home Secretary’s plans to tackle female genital mutilation (FGM).
Theresa May wants to force health professionals to report cases to police.
The Royal College of Paediatricians say there is no evidence the move will work.
It said the new plans may even dissuade families from seeking medical help, stating there is no “credible or conclusive” evidence it would lower the extent of abuse and risk.
It said in a statement: “We welcome the government’s work to tackle FGM, but we have serious concerns regarding the consultation process and do not support mandatory reporting for FGM.
"Ultimately there is no credible or conclusive evidence that mandatory reporting better protects children at risk of harm, and its introduction would undermine the cultural approach working together, sharing of risk and responsibility that has been developed in the current system.
"We are concerned that the introduction of such reporting will reinforce a hierarchy of abuse - by creating mandatory reporting for one type of child abuse and not another. This in turn, could create a variation in response and care received by vulnerable children and young people.”
An estimated 137,000 victims of FGM were thought to be living in the UK in 2011.
It is expected that the abuse was carried out in other countries where the procedure is practiced. But, the amount of procedures carried out in Britain is unknown.
Adwoa Kwateng-Kluvitse, from charity Forward which works with FGM victims, and GP Dr Sanjay Pawar explain more.