Female genital mutilation (FGM) takes many different forms but it traditionally involves the full or partial removal of young girls’ genitals for non-medical reasons. The practice is most common in western, eastern and north-eastern regions of Africa and in some countries in Asia and the Middle East.
The Scottish Parliament heard this month how it is becoming a more common practice in Scotland - with an estimated 3,000 Scottish girls at risk. FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 but there has yet to be any prosecutions. Following on from the Parliamentary debate all head teachers are being asked to train staff and educate parents on FGM, and from April 2014 all NHS hospitals in the UK will be able to record if a patient has undergone FGM or if there is a family history of it.