Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation

Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation
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The multi-Agency Guidance on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was published on 1st April 2016, replacing Female Genital Mutilation: Guidelines to Protect Children and Women (2014). The guidance should be read and followed by everyone with statutory duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. The guidance is also relevant to bodies working with women and girls at risk of FGM or dealing with its consequences.

FGM is child abuse and a form of violence against women and girls. It is a criminal offence and cases should be dealt with as part of existing structures, policies and procedures on child protection and adult safeguarding.

This purpose of the guidance is to provide information on FGM, including on the law on FGM in England and Wales. It also provides strategic guidance on FGM for senior leaders and 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,
  • Implementing measures that can prevent and ultimately help end the practice of FGM.


The statutory guidance is not intended to substitute wider safeguarding guidance, but to provide additional advice on FGM. It is to be considered in conjunction with other relevant safeguarding guidance, including, but not limited to, Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) in England or Safeguarding Children: Working Together under the Children Act 2004 (2007) in Wales.

The training course, Female Genital Mutilation Awareness was launched in early 2016 and added to the EduCare for Education licence. The course aims to help professionals understand the risks and consequences of FGM, and how to act if they suspect a girl is in danger to help fulfil their mandatory reporting duty.

In addition, all the courses in the licence are reviewed regularly and updated to reflect revised guidance and to ensure they are current at all times.

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