Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation is a collective term used for procedures, such as female circumcision, which include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs, or injury to the female genital organs for a cultural or non-therapeutic reason.

If you have concerns that a girl or young women may be taken overseas for FGM then please contact the FCO on 0207 008 1500 or email fgm@fco.gov.uk

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 Law

The Female Genital Mutilation Act was introduced in 2003 and came into effect in March 2004.

The Act

  • 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
Help and support

If you require any help, support or advice please ring Essex Police. If there is an immediate threat to life, or the immediate threat of being taken abroad, ring the emergency number, or the forced marriage unit.

Emergency number: 999 Non emergency number: 101

Forced Marriage Unit: (+44) 020 7008 0151

Other useful resources

Karma Nirvana Honour Network: 0800 5999 247

Forward: 0208 960 4000 

Womens Aid:  0808 2000 247