Female genital mutilation (FGM)

Information on FGM

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a culture-specific abusive practice affecting some communities. It should always trigger child protection concerns.

The procedure performed at various ages including babies and adolescents, but more commonly carried out on children aged between four and ten years. It is a deeply rooted cultural practice in certain African, Asian and Middle Eastern communities. FGM is usually done for strong cultural reasons and this must always be kept in mind, however cultural considerations and sensitivities should not override the need to take action to protect a child.

The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005 makes it illegal to perform or arrange to have FGM carried out in Scotland or abroad. A sentence of 14 years imprisonment can be imposed.

If you have concerns about someone affected by FGM, please contact your social work locality or call the police on 101 and ask for the risk concern hub.

The Scottish Government's statement on FGM has been translated into Arabic, French, Somali and Swahili - these documents are available to download from this page.

For more information on child protection, please see our pages on Child protection.


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