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Eliminating female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an unacceptable violation of human rights and of the rights of women and girls. It is a specific form of violence involving procedures including the partial or total removal of the external genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons. The practice has severe short- and long-term physical and psychological consequences for the victims.

There is no reliable and comparable data on the prevalence of FGM at EU level. It is estimated however that the largest groups of women and girls originating from countries in which the practice of FGM is rife live in the following EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

In the vast majority of EU countries, FGM is considered to be a crime. In addition, in some countries, a principle of extra-territoriality renders it possible to prosecute the practice even when it is committed outside of the country’s borders.

News - European Commission publishes Communication on eliminating FGM

Further information and Press Pack

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video FGM

Euronews video explores one woman's experience of genital mutilation and her fight to end the practice

Our daughters will not be mutilated