Quebec’s youth protection services is being investigated after neglecting reports of a daycare worker who found out during a young girl’s diaper change that she had been circumcised.
As reported by La Tribune, a daycare worker in Quebec City discovered that a two-year-old girl had her clitoris removed while she was changing the girl’s diaper. However, when the worker phoned Quebec’s youth protection services, they said they would not take the case because it was “too delicate.”
“The investigation aims to verify whether the alleged facts are true and if the rights of the child have been respected,” the Commission for Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission (CDPDJ) wrote in a news release. “Its goal is also to ensure that measures are taken so that such a situation does not happen again.”
Since 1997, female genital mutilation (FGM) has been recognized in Canada’s criminal code as a form of aggravated assault. It is also illegal to take children out of the country to have the practice performed.
The barbaric cultural practice mutilates a young woman’s genitals and has been carried out on an estimated 200 million girls and women worldwide — most prominently in North Africa and the Middle East.
While the practice is illegal, there have been numerous instances of FGM taking place within Canadian borders.
The Liberal Party of Quebec (QLP) has called for an independent investigation into the matter after the Minister of Social Services, Lionel Carmant initially refused to comment on the case.
Carmant was questioned about the case in Quebec’s National Assembly and assured that the case would be properly evaluated and that he had called the national director at the CDPDJ.
“She has the role of ensuring that the reporting process and the retention of reports are done properly, and that will be reviewed,” he said.
According to Quebec member of legislature Christine Labire, the agency had dismissed the daycare’s report on the same day it was received.
Joel Arsenau, Parti Quebecois spokesperson for social services told La Tribune that he was perplexed by the situation.
“The CDPDPJ seems to be failing in its duty to protect the child,” said Arsenau. “Any report must be analyzed and taken seriously.”