The upper house of parliament has announced plans to impose strict punishment for genital mutilation of women. The Bundesrat also approved a bill to improve pensions of Stasi victims in the former East Germany.
Members of the Bundesrat wants tough jail sentences for individuals found guilty of female genital mutilation.
The upper house has decided that the practice should constitute a specific legal crime under German law.
Under current legislation, genital mutilation is merely classed as aggravated assault with a maximum prison sentence of six months. The Bundesrat now wants to raise that to a minimum of two years.
Thousands of women in Germany, most of them immigrants, have suffered genital mutilation, which is still an active ritual in some parts of Africa and, to a lesser extent, Asia and Latin America.
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