Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Girls and young women at risk of FGM are a vulnerable group.
All agencies must work together to identify and protect them.
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
and can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later,
potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths.
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). 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
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined as “all procedures
which include the partial or total removal of the external female
genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for
Girls may be taken to their countries of origin so that FGM
can be carried out during the summer holidays, allowing them time
to "heal" before they return to school. There are also worries that
some girls may have FGM performed in the UK. Further information
can be found on
NHS Choices Information on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM is abuse of the human rights of girls and women and
is therefore a child protection issue.
FGM is illegal in the UK and it is illegal to prepare,
send or take a child to another country.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have published Multi-Agency
Practice Guidelines to provide advice and support to frontline
professionals who have responsibilities to safeguard children and
protect adults from the abuses associated with female genital
mutilation (FGM). As it is unlikely that any single agency will be
able to meet the multiple needs of someone affected by FGM, this
document sets out a multi-agency response and strategies to
encourage agencies to cooperate and work together.
The guidance provides information on:
- identifying when a girl (including an
unborn girl) or young woman may be at risk of being subjected to
FGM and responding appropriately to protect them
- identifying when a girl or young woman has
been subjected to FGM and responding appropriately to support
- measures that can be implemented to
prevent and ultimately eradicate the practice of FGM.
If you identify or suspect a child is at risk of being
subjected to FGM you must notify children’s services and follow
local safeguarding procedures.
If you are concerned that a British national may be taken
overseas for the purpose of FGM please also call the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500.
Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders came in to
force on the 17 July 2015 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
FGM Protection Orders are unique to each case and contain legally
binding conditions, prohibitions and restrictions to protect the
person at risk of FGM. For further information please visit
From October 31 2015 it is mandatory for regulated
health and social care professionals and teachers in England and
Wales to report known cases of FGM in under 18-year-olds to the
The duty applies where in the course of their professional
duties, the professional either:
· Is informed by
the girl that an act of FGM has been carried out on her;
physical signs which appear to show an act of FGM has been carried
out and has no reason to believe that the act was necessary for the
girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with
labour or birth.
The professional is expected to make a referral within one
month, this includes ensuring the family is aware of the report.
The duty applies only to those cases which are visually identified
or disclosed to a professional by the victim and is under 18yrs
The duty does not apply in relation to ‘at risk’ cases.
In this instance Bedford Borough safeguarding procedures must be
The Department of Health (DoH) has published updated guidance
explaining healthcare professionals’ duty to report cases of female
genital mutilation (FGM) in girls under 18.
Date: 20 January 2017
Further information: Service
standards for FGM care for under 18s
Quick Guide version of Department of Health Safeguarding
guidance - click
tables are now in editable template format – fill them in on
your screen and attach to a healthcare record directly, without the
extra pages getting in the way. The new documents should also be
used in conjunction with the safeguarding pathway.
The Home Office has made updates to its documents about female
genital mutilation (FGM). These include: the statement opposing
FGM; the procedural information for mandatory reporting of female
genital mutilation; the factsheet on FGM protection orders.
Date: 01 December 2016
Statement opposing female genital mutilation
Mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation:
FGM protection orders:
The Department of Health has produced a range of resources for
healthcare staff, including a quick guide and flowchart, poster and
training slides, to ensure they are confident in responding to
cases of female genital mutilation (FGM). To visit their website
Safeguarding women and girls at risk of FGM. This document
provides practical help to support NHS Organisations developing new
safeguarding policies and procedures for femal genital mutilation
Commissioning services to support women and girls with FGM.
This document sets out what some elements of a successful and safe
service to support women and girls with female genital mutilation
(FGM) might look like. Thank you to the many people involved
in the development, and we hope that these are useful for
Pan Bedfordshire Strategy on FGM, Forced Marriage and Honour
follow this link to the Pan Bedfordshire Strategy on FGM, Forced
Marriage and Honour Based Abuse
follow this link to the Bedfordshire FGM Pathways
FGM Factsheet for professionals
FGM factsheet for women and girls
Fact sheet on FGM
Click here for the fact
on this link for the FGM Postcard
Free FGM e-learning
The Home Office has launched free online training for frontline
professionals in identifying and helping girls at risk of female
genital mutilation (FGM). The training can be accessed by visiting
the website: http://www.fgmelearning.co.uk/
Three more elearning sessions have been released, and the
Health Education England eFGM programme is live. For more
information please see http://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/female-genital-mutilation/
National FGM related support services
FORWARD (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development) is
an African Diaspora women led UK-registered campaign and support
charity dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the sexual and
reproductive health and rights of African girls and women. They
work in UK, Europe and Africa to help change practices and policies
that affect access, dignity and wellbeing. They tackle female
genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and related rights of
girls and young women.
FGM National Helpline
If you are worried that a child may be at risk of FGM you can
make an anonymous call to the free 24-hour FGM helpline on 0800 028
3550 at email@example.com.
Department of Health
Safeguarding women and girls at risk of FGM
This document provides practical help to
support NHS organisations developing new safeguarding policies and
procedures for female genital mutilation (FGM).
Commissioning services to support women and
girls with FGM
This document sets out what some elements of a successful and
safe service to support women and girls with female genital
mutilation (FGM) might look like.
NHS Specialist FGM clinics
Coventry University has designed a new app to educate young
people about female genital mutilation. It is endorsed by the NSPCC
and has been launched in the run up to the school summer holidays,
a period during which a girl's risk of being taken abroad to
undergo the procedure increases.
Coventry University press release
Download Petals web
FGM Guidance, Research and Resources
On Friday 1st April 2016 the Government published, under powers
in the Serious Crime Act 2015, multi-agency statutory guidance on
female genital mutilation and the consultation response. These can
be found via the links below.
London Safeguarding Children Board FGM
Multiagency Practice Guidance
The FGM Act 2003
Tackling FGM in the UK – Project Evaluation Summary
FGM Health Passport
FGM ‘Passport’ Statement opposing female genital mutilation has
now been published in the following community languages: Turkish,
Urdu, Farsi. Somali, Swahili, Arabic, Amharic and Tigrinya.
Please go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-opposing-female-genital-mutilation
where copies can be downloaded.
The organisation, Rights of Women, has
published a briefing on female genital mutilation and the law.
Rights of Women 01 October
Leaflets and Posters
Click on the titles below to see the actual poster or
England and The Department for Health poster
England and The Department for Health guidance
FGM Poster for young people
FGM Leaflet for young people
ACCM (UK) established in 2008, is a Charity and an international
non-governmental organisation (NGO), evolved from a major local
charity, Agency for Culture and Change Management - (ACCM
Sheffield), whose primary role was to lobby for and communicate the
effects of legislation concerning Female Genital Mutilation and
other harmful traditional practices in the UK.
Telephone: 0044(0) 1234 356 910
Mobile: 0044(0) 7712482568
The Red Triangle Campaign has been launched to mark the
International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
A partnership between the National Police Chiefs’ Council and
Freedom Charity, this encourages people to provide the police with
information that can help detect and prevent FGM in the UK and
Charity Date: 06 February 2017
Further information: Anti-FGM
campaign launched in UK to mark global day of