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Sheffield Children Safeguarding Partnership

Female Genital Mutilation

"Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” (World Health Organisation, 2016)

FGM has been an embedded practice for centuries in some countries in the world including Africa, the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan (DH, 2015).

The World Health Organisation estimated that between 100 to 140 million women and girls worldwide have undergone FGM, but prevalence of FGM in the UK is difficult to estimate because of the hidden nature of the crime.

There are 4 types of FGM, mainly carried out on girls between the ages of five and ten. In some countries it is practised on babies as young as two or three days old and in other areas, it is practised prior to marriage or as part of the wedding rituals.

It is the parents' decision as to whether their daughters are 'cut', but they face tremendous pressure from older members of their families, especially, it they return to their country of origin. In most countries including the UK FGM is illegal.

Practitioners should refer to the Safeguarding Children Online procedures which includes the Sheffield Multi-Agency pathway and a quick reference factsheet:

National guidance:

Sheffield information:


Other relevant information can be found on this website here: Information and resources or in the index on the left side of this page.

If you are concerned about a child or young person, follow this link: Referring a safeguarding concern to Children’s Social Care


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