A form of abuse where a young woman’s chest is seared with hot stones, supposedly to delay breast development, is to be prosecuted in Britain with offenders facing prison time. There is anecdotal evidence of dozens of British cases of breast-ironing, which is most commonplace in Africa. Activists say it may have happened to more than 1,000 women and girls in the UK.
The Crown Prosecution Service says it will issue guidance making it “quite clear [that] breast-ironing is child abuse. We hope this new guidance will give victims, police and prosecutors the confidence they need to bring perpetrators of this cruelty to justice,” said Jaswant Narwal, a chief prosecutor who specialises in so-called “honour” abuse.
My comment: As poor people flee the climate change and political instability in Africa, they bring with them age-old cultural habits we have never heard of. This one is particularly weird. But the government is quite right to ban it. Migrants are welcome, but they should conform to the norms and laws of their new country and respect the individual rights of young girls. This is just common sense.