Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Councils play a crucial role in safeguarding children. However they cannot do this alone. They need the co-operation of the wider community and partner agencies.

We are working to raise awareness so that Stafford Borough Council staff, Council Members and the wider community can recognise the signs of Female Genital Mutilation and know what to do if they have concerns.

The World Health Organisation estimates that three million girls undergo some form of the procedure every year in Africa alone. It is practised in 28 countries in Africa and some in the Middle East and Asia. FGM is also found in the UK amongst members of migrant communities. It is estimated that approximately 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born in England and Wales to mothers who had undergone FGM[1].

UK communities that are most at risk of FGM include Kenyan, Somali, Sudanese, Sierra Leonean, Egyptian, Nigerian and Eritrean.

Non-African communities that practise FGM include Yemeni, Afghani, Kurdish, Indonesian and Pakistani.

[1] Macfarlane A, Dorkenoo E. Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales: National and local estimates. London: City University London and Equality Now, 2015

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a ‘significantly harmful’ practice that is painful and is likely to have life long detrimental consequences on health and wellbeing.  Some girls have died in the process.

FGM is deeply rooted in tradition widely practiced in Africa and parts of the Middle East and Asia.  The majority of cases are thought to take part between the ages of 5 and 8 years but it can occur earlier or later.

It is illegal in the UK for parents to arrange this within or outside of this country female genital mutilation (FGM) involves procedures that include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons.

Concerns that a child is at risk of FGM or may have been subjected to it, must be referred under child protection procedures

Alerts to imminent FGM may include:-

  • A visiting female elder being in the UK from the country of origin
  • A professional hearing reference to FGM e.g. having a ‘special procedure’
  • A disclosure or request for help if the girl is aware or suspects she is at risk
  • Parents taking the child out of the country for a prolonged period
  • The girl talking about a long holiday to one of the countries where FGM is practiced

Points of Contact for the general public:-

Please see our Safeguarding Points of Contact

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