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Luton Borough Council

Female Genital Mutilation: information for practitioners

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.
An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of 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.
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 undergoing FGM.
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 them
  • 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.
Follow this link for more information on Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation.
© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ