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Meeting the National Reporting Requirement for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

News and presentations from today's conference looking at improving Services, Safeguarding and Meeting the National Reporting Requirement for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Chaired by Vanessa Lodge, Chair of the National FGM Steering Group at NHS England, this conference looks at improving services, safeguarding, and meeting the national reporting requirements for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

In her presentation Vanessa stated:

”Everyone has to do their Part to tackle FGM”

“Illegal for 30 years in this country”

“When a clinician sees someone that has experienced FGM it needs to be recorded”

‘Nationally in the period Oct-Dec 2015, 2238 patients with FGM reported, over ½ live in London, 35 were under the age of 18’

‘Somalia has highest volume of FGM cases ‘

‘Highest recorders of FGM are midwifery  and obstetrics and gynecology,  self reports is most common

‘Focus must be on prevention’

‘Lots of great innovative work but we need to move forward.  Must check all the things we’ve done to date are working and having an effect.’

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO, 2013) definition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which is globally accepted, comprises of “procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons”. The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women. Most girls and women that have been victims of FGM do not recognise the term, ‘FGM’; the girls and women often name the procedure ‘senna’, ‘circumcision’ or ‘cutting’.

Due to the increase in recent years of migration to the United Kingdom, from areas of high prevalence of FGM, for example, Sub-Saharan Africa, some areas of the Middle East and the Far East, girls and women are increasingly presenting with FGM. 

“FGM is a violation of a girl’s rights as a child and her entitlement to her bodily integrity. It is a cruel act perpetrated by parents and extended family members upon young girls who are entrusted to their care. FGM is a form of abuse and an act of violence against women.” (Tackling FGM in the UK, 2013).

Safeguarding women and girls at risk of FGM

Allen Davis Inspector – Partnership Team, SOECA Command

• how can we safeguard against FGM?
• identifying women and children at risk of FGM
• encouraging sharing of information in relation to FGM

In his presentation Allen discussed:

‘FGM is a vawg issue and is child abuse’

‘FGM is a safeguarding issue’

‘It is broader than ‘Child Protection’ and it is about preventing harm rather than dealing with it after it has happened.’

‘FGM is complex, it happens in 30 different countries and there are 30 ways of looking at it, its difficult to legislate properly’

‘There have been no convictions under FGM legislation in the UK’

‘FGM seen as a natural and beneficial practice carried out by a loving family who believe it in the girls and communities best interests.’


The MPS response to FGM is led by a dedicated team, Project Azure.  Increasing awareness and reporting of FGM is a key part of its response; it does so by working with healthcare and safeguarding professionals to enhance referrals and information sharing relating to FGM.

Project Azure focuses on Prevention, Partnership, Protection and Prosecution. This includes:

  • Raising awareness of FGM
  • Leading delivery of ‘Operation Limelight’; a multi-agency initiative at Heathrow Airport.
  • Delivering training on FGM to Police, professionals and other agencies
  • Community Engagement
  • Creating Standard Operating Procedures & toolkits for best practise in FGM
  • Offering advice and liaison for Police Officers and other agencies, with a particular focus on FGMPO’s and mandatory reporting.

Visit Project Azure on the Met Police website.

Full PowerPoint Presentation.

Safeguarding care of the pregnant woman and her family where Female Genital Mutilation has been identified

Sally Burns and Beverley Tinsley Specialist Midwives, Vulnerable Women The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

• educating and empowering staff to discuss the subject with an empathetic approach
• developing and improving the care pathway
• our experience in Dudley

Full PowerPoint Presentation.

Also of interest:

Improving Mental Health Support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Wednesday 8 June 
ICO Conference Centre, London

Download: Conference brochure

10 May 2016


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