Introducing mandatory reporting for female genital mutilation: a consultation

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Home Office
Home Office
Date of publication
1 December 2014
Children and Young People, Criminal Justice Services, Minority Groups
Social welfare
Material type

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Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the external female genitalia for nonmedical reasons. The procedure is also referred to as ‘cutting’, ‘female circumcision’ and ‘initiation’. The practice is medically unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious health consequences, both at the time when the mutilation is carried out and in later life.

The government believes that mandatory reporting of FGM should lead to a greater number of victims and potential victims being identified to the police and social services. FGM is a crime in this country whether it takes place in the UK, or is committed by or inflicted on a UK national or permanent resident whilst they are abroad. Alerting the police through mandatory reporting of FGM will allow them to investigate the facts of each case and should increase the number of perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted for this crime. Prosecutions for FGM should in turn act as a deterrent to perpetrators and in turn prevent FGM from occurring. This consultation is specifically focused on: what and who should be covered by the mandatory reporting requirement; which agencies the requirement should be applied to; how the requirement will work in practice; and the sanctions that should be employed if professionals fail to report FGM. The consultation also seeks views on how the multi-agency practice guidelines on FGM should be placed on a statutory footing most effectively.

The consultation runs 5 December 2014 to 12 January 2015.

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