Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the law

Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003

A person is guilty of an offence if they excise, infibulate or otherwise mutilate the whole or any part of a girl’s or woman’s labia majora, labia minora or clitoris for non-medical reasons.

It is illegal to perform/arrange for FGM to be carried out on a girl in the UK or to take a girl abroad.

Serious Crime Act 2015

Section 70(1) of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (“the 2015 Act”) amends section 4 of the FGM Act 2003

  • to extend the extra-territorial powers of the law to further protect victims of FGM.
  • It also introduces victim anonymity to victims of FGM.
  • The Serious Crime Act introduces civil measures to protect girls or women who have suffered or are believed to be at risk from FGM. Find out more about protection orders.
  • It also introduces a mandatory reporting duty to report known cases of FGM that applies to all regulated professionals.
  • The law covers all habitual residence of the UK and British Citizens.
  • New offence of failing to protect a girl from FGM. This will mean that if an offence of FGM is committed against a girl under the age of 16, each person who is responsible for the girl at the time of FGM occurred will be liable under this new offence. The maximum penalty for the new offence is seven years’ imprisonment or a fine or both.