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Female Genital Mutilation - FGM

Background

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has been unlawful in Scotland since 1985 by virtue of the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. The 2005 Act re-enacts the existing offences in the 1985 Act, and extends protection by giving those offences extra-territorial effect in order to protect those being sent abroad to have FGM carried out. The Act also increases the penalty on conviction from indictment to 5-14 years imprisonment.

There is no evidence that this practice is widespread within communities in Scotland, although evidence can be difficult to establish. The policy is to ensure that those communities within the UK who do practice FGM do not believe that they might evade the law by sending girls abroad via Scotland. The law makes it an offence under Scots law to send a girl abroad to have the procedure carried out.

Guidance on the legislation (introduced in 2005), how to enforce it and the signs which may indicate that FGM has taken place, has been issued to all police, social and community, and education workers. Fact sheets on this legislation was created and translated in to Somali, Swahili, Eritrean, French and Arabic in order that communities for whom FGM is a common practice can be made aware of these changes.

Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005

Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) act 2005, explanatory notes

The Scottish Government's fact sheet on Female Genital Mutilation was introduced to coincide with the 2005 prohibition of FGM act (see link above) and translated into several different languages.

Scottish Government's fact sheet on Female Genital Mutilation in English

Scottish Government's fact sheet on Female Genital Mutilation in French

Scottish Government's fact sheet on female genital mutilation in Somali

Scottish Government's fact sheet on Female Genital Mutilation in Swahili

Scottish Government's fact sheet on Female Genital Mutilation in Arabic

Scottish Government's fact sheet on Female Genital Mutilation in Tigrina