Female Genital Mutilation (also known as FGM or female circumcision) describes a range of practices involving the removal or alteration of healthy female genitalia.
The procedure is typically performed on girls aged between four and 13, but in some cases FGM is performed on newborn infants or on young women before marriage or pregnancy.
FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 was passed. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 replaced the 1985 Act and makes it an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out FGM abroad, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where the practice is legal.
The FGM area of this website provides further guidance and information, including how to address child protection concerns.
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