FGM - Where is it happening and who is most at risk?

FGM - Where is it happening and who is most at risk?

Posted on Mar 23, 2016

FGM –Where is it happening and who is most at risk?



What is FGM?

FGM, also known as ‘female circumcision’, ‘cutting’ or ‘Sunna’ is the name given to procedures involving injury or partial/total removal of the external female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

There is no benefit or medical reason to justify carrying out FGM yet it is believed that 100-140 million women worldwide have undergone some sort of genital mutilation.

FGM is mainly carried out by unqualified family relatives or elder (female) members of the community.

The procedure usually happens without anaesthetic, using makeshift devices such as razor blades, scissors, knives, glass, sharpened rocks, and even fingernails.


Does FGM happen in the UK?

FGM is practiced in more than 29 countries across Africa, the Middle East, and South East Asia.

You may be thinking that it’s not happening in the UK, but unfortunately, it is happening all over Britain with girls as young as 4.


Who is most at risk of FGM?

Girls who live in communities that practice FGM should always be considered most at risk.

These tend to be migrant communities that are less integrated into the UK society and culture.

The Home Office has identified these communities to be:


  • Somali
  • Kenyan
  • Sudanese
  • Sierra Leonean
  • Egyptian
  • Nigerian
  • Eritrean
  • Yemeni
  • Kurdish
  • Indonesian


Typically, these communities can be found in certain cities.

The following are known as the FGM ‘Hot-spots’ of the UK:


  • London
  • Glasgow
  • Manchester
  • Sheffield
  • Cardiff
  • Birmingham
  • Crawley
  • Oxford
  • Reading
  • Edinburgh
  • Milton Keynes


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Action to take should you suspect someone is at risk of FGM

It is important that you incorporate FGM within your safeguarding policies. This way, if any member of staff suspected someone at risk– they will have the correct information to help them.


NSPCC FGM Helpline:

T: 0800 028 3550

E: fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk

Metropolitan Police Project Azure (FGM)

T: 0207 161 2888.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

T: 0207 008 1500

E: fgm@fco.gov.uk


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