Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation is a criminal offence – it is child abuse and a form of violence against women and girls, and therefore should be treated as such. Cases should be dealt with as part of existing structures, policies and procedures on child protection and adult safeguarding. There are, however, particular characteristics of FGM that front-line professionals should be aware of to ensure that they can provide appropriate protection and support to those affected.

The following principles should be adopted by all agencies in relation to identifying and responding to those at risk of, or who have undergone FGM, and their parent(s)or guardians:

  • the safety and welfare of the child is paramount;
  • all agencies should act in the interests of the rights of the child, as stated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989);
  • FGM is illegal in the UK;
  • FGM is an extremely harmful practice - responding to it cannot be left to personal choice;
  • accessible, high quality and sensitive health, education, police, social care and voluntary sector services must underpin all interventions;
  • as FGM is often an embedded social norm, engagement with families and communities plays an important role in contributing to ending it;
  • all decisions or plans should be based on high quality assessments (in accordance with Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015)5 statutory guidance in England

For information on a local counselling service available to victims of FGM and Honour Based Violence please see link on IKWRO in links below.