Female Genital Mutilation

What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a form of child abuse and violence against girls and women, a serious public health concern and a breach of their human rights. Protecting girls and women from FGM worldwide is everybody’s business.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines female genital mutilation as:

 “all procedures (not operations) which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons”.

FGM is medically unnecessary, is extremely painful, terrifying and has life threatening physical and serious psychological health consequences both at the time the procedure is carried out and later in life.

It is illegal in the UK to subject a girl or woman to female genital mutilation (FGM), to take a child abroad to undergo FGM or for any person to advise, help or force a girl to inflict FGM on herself. It is also an offence to fail to protect a girl from the risk of FGM, for each person who is responsible for the girl at the time the FGM occurred.

What should I do if I have concerns about FGM?

If you are concerned about FGM you can find more information in the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Procedures.

Always discuss your concerns with the senior person in your organisation who is responsible for safeguarding and child protection.

If you are a young person, parent or carer, you can contact Children's Social Care to discuss your concerns.

Where a girl is thought to be at immediate risk of FGM or is about to be taken abroad to undergo the procedure, contact the police immediately on 999.

Mandatory Reporting

In addition to a referral to Social Care, all regulated professionals working within health services, social care, and teachers also have a personal mandatory duty to report all concerns about FGM. This means that they must, as individuals, ensure that they have reported the concern to the police. Further information is available from the Home Office

Further information about FGM

There is a range of useful information and resources about FGM including:


The DDSCP training programme includes further details of multi-agency half day seminar about FGM. 


FORWARD (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development) is committed to gender equality and safeguarding the rights of African girls and women.

Forward are a leading African diaspora women’s campaign and support organisation who work through partnerships in the UK, Europe and Africa to transform lives, tackling discriminatory practices that affect the dignity and wellbeing of girls and women.

Childline - Information for children and young people on FGM.

PHSE Association - Information sheet on addressing FGM in schools, recognising warning signs and external support.

FGM Resource Pack - Home Office 2016, including recognising and preventing FGM e-learning for professionals with safeguarding responsibilities.