Female Genital Mutilation

The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes so called 'female circumcision', excision or infibulations (FGM) an offence, except on specific physical and mental health grounds. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 also makes it an offence for U.K. nationals or permanent UK residents to carry out FGM abroad, or to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad, even in countries where the practice is legal. 

The Female Genital Mutilation Act was amended by section 73 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 to include FGM Protection Orders. An FGM Protection Order is a civil measure which can be applied for through a family court. The FGM Protection Order offers the means of protecting actual or potential victims from FGM under the civil law.


Mandatory Duty to Report

Also under the Serious Crime Act 2015, from 31 October 2015, regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales have a mandatory requirement to report visually confirmed or verbally disclosed cases of FGM in girls under 18 to the police. Where a person is in a regulated profession (i.e. a teacher, social worker or healthcare professional) and in the course of their work they believe that that an act of female genital mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl who is aged under 18 years, they must notify the police.  

The Home Office has produced multi-agency Statutory guidelines on FGM for those with statutory duties to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. Updated in October 2018.

FGM is a child protection issue and a referral should be made to Children's Social Care to enable enquiries under S.47 to be made if the practice is suspected. It must also be reported to the police. Click here for a PowerPoint guidance presentation on how to report this to North Yorkshire Police.  

A full York FGM report and York FGM Practice Guidance are downloadable.


National Guidance



The Home Office provides free online training in recognising and preventing FGM.  You will need to register on the website.

There is e-learning for healthcare professionals available.



  • National resources are available or access each separately:
  • FGM Assessment Tool from the National FGM Centre
  • Quick guidance – a 2-page summary of the duty including a process flowchart       
  • Poster – for health organisations to display about the duty        
  • Training slides  – a training presentation organisations can use to help them deliver 10 – 15 minute updates to staff to explain the duty        
  • Guidance for healthcare staff with video can also be found at www.nhs.uk/fgmguidelines
  • An information leaflet for patients and their families which professionals can use to help when discussing making a report to the police.

More materials and updates are also in the pipeline.


That can provide information about community education programmes include:

Agency for Culture and Change Management UK
1st Floor
3a Woburn Road
MK40 1EG
Tel: 01234 356910
Mobile: 0771 248 2568

Website: Agency for Culture and Change Management

Black Women’s Health and Family Support
82 Russia Lane
E2 9LU
Tel: 020 8980 3503

Website: Black Women's Health and Family Support



Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development (FORWARD)
Suite 2.1
Chandelier Building
8 Scrubs Lane

London NW10 6RB
Tel: 020 8960 4000

Website: FORWARD - (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development) Home


Research, Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINB)
Suite 5a, Queens Studios
121 Salisbury Road
London NW6 6RG
Tel: 020 7625 3400

Website: Research, Action and Information Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINB)