- An estimated 20,000 girls suffer at the hands of FGM in the UK every year
- However, a large number these are from African and Middle Eastern families
- Many felt that the photo was too 'PC' and did not reflect the siutation accurately
Children's charity Barnado's has come under fire for using a photo of a white girl to publicise a campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM).
An estimated 20,000 girls suffer in the UK a year at the hands of FGM, but a disproportionate amount of these are from African or Middle Eastern families.
The group tweeted: 'FGM is particularly prevalent during school holidays. Here are some signs a girl may be at risk' and linked to an article about the horrifying subject.'
However, the group was forced into backtrack into an apology after it chose to use a picture of a causasian girl to accompany it.
One Twitter user replied: ;might as well of used a picture of a boy instead of a white european girl. he would be just as likely to be a victim of fgm than pic used'.
Another said: 'Hardly a representative photo is it. Political correctness obviously more important to Barnardo's than being honest about FGM issue.'
A third added: 'they darent put a pic of an african or middle eastern girl for fear of offending muslims . how much more of this pc c*** can we endure ?'
And one person even suggested it could affect their income, saying: 'I know of two people who will no longer donate to your charity because of this dishonesty.'
Five days after the original tweet, after some of the criticism had begun to attract attention, Barando's tweeted an apology, but also warned it is also an issue for white girls.
The charity said: 'FGM doesn’t affect just one community or religion. Regardless, we’re sorry for any upset caused. We value constructive & robust feedback'.
In the article that was published with the controversial image, Barnardo's said there were 1,236 new cases of female genital mutilation recorded in England between January and March this year.
Of these, 84% happened before the girl had reached her 10th birthday and 17% took place before she had turned one.