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Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation

7th April 2016

This multi-agency guidance on female genital mutilation (FGM) should be read and followed by all persons and bodies in England and Wales who are under statutory duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. It replaces female genital mutilation: guidelines to protect children and women (2014).

This guidance should be considered together with other relevant safeguarding guidance, including (but not limited to):

It is not intended to replace wider safeguarding guidance, but to provide additional advice on FGM.

This guidance has three key functions:

  • to provide information on FGM, including on the law on FGM in England and Wales;
  • to provide strategic guidance on FGM for chief executives, directors and senior managers of persons and bodies mentioned above, or of third parties exercising public protection functions on behalf of those persons or bodies;
  • to provide advice and support to front-line professionals who have responsibilities to safeguard and support women and girls affected by FGM, in particular to assist them in:
    • identifying when a girl or young woman may be at risk of FGM and responding appropriately;
    • identifying when a girl or woman has had FGM and responding appropriately; and
    • implementing measures that can prevent and ultimately help end the practice of FGM.

This guidance encourages agencies to cooperate and work together to protect and support those at risk of, or who have undergone, FGM.