Female genital mutilation
Information about the Government’s work to prevent and tackle Female Genital Mutilation can be found on the Home Office website.
The Government has launched new guidelines to support front-line professionals such as teachers, health professionals, police officers and social workers to prevent and tackle FGM. The guidelines:
- explain the complex issues around female genital mutilation;
- identify the signs that girls and women may be at risk or who are dealing with the consequences of FGM;
- set out the actions that professionals should take, often in conjunction with other agencies, to protect girls and women and offer them the support they need.
Multi-agency guidelines (PDF, 1.63 MB)
In the UK, it is estimated that up to 24,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). Across government work is taking place to tackle this cruel and brutal practice. You can find information here about FGM and also advice on what to do if you are worried that you or someone you know is at risk.
Girls are at particular risk of FGM during school summer holidays. This is the time when families may take their children abroad for the procedure. Many girls may not be aware that they may be at risk of undergoing FGM.
If you suspect that someone you know is at risk of being subjected to any form of FGM, you should take action to report it immediately. Time counts so please act as soon as you suspect that a girl may be at risk of FGM.
If you are concerned that a British citizen may be taken overseas for the purpose of FGM please call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 0207 008 1500 or email email@example.com
You should also call -
- your local Children’s Services or Local Safeguarding Children’s Board
- your local Police Child Protection Unit
- the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000
- FORWARD on 0208 960 4000
FGM – The facts
- Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
- The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
- Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later, potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths.
- An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.
- It is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15 years.
- In Africa an estimated 92 million girls from 10 years of age and above have undergone FGM.
- FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
- It is illegal to practice FGM in the UK
The Female Genital Mutilation Act was introduced in 2003 and came into effect in March 2004.
- Makes it illegal to practice FGM in the UK;
- Makes it illegal to take girls who are British nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM whether or not it is lawful in that country;
- Makes it illegal to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad;
- Has a penalty of up to 14 years in prison and/or a fine