Scotland's national action plan to prevent and eradicate FGM

The national action plan to prevent and eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) sets out the objectives, actions and responsibilities required to drive and deliver change.


FGM is recognised internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women [1] .

The Scottish Government has been working in partnership with a range of public and third sector agencies to develop an National Action Plan to tackle FGM that is innovative, challenging and ambitious in scope. Scotland's National Action Plan for FGM builds on the range of work already being taken forward by the Scottish Government and its partners in both the statutory and third sectors, and at community level, to tackle this unacceptable practice.

Aims of the National Action Plan for FGM

Firstly it seeks to strengthen understanding of how communities in Scotland are affected by FGM and supports changes in attitudes, behaviours, practices and policy to ensure FGM is prevented and ultimately eradicated. Protecting children and women from FGM is part of the Scottish Government's wider goal of creating a strong and flourishing Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and respected, and where women and girls live free from gender-based violence abuse and attitudes that perpetuate it.

Secondly, it is to ensure access to the support and services needed by girls and women in Scotland who have been affected by FGM, also referred to as 'survivors of FGM'.

The Plan will be delivered through partnership working with potentially affected communities, statutory agencies and third sector and community organisations.

Strategic framework

Over the following pages, we will set out:

  • how this approach is underpinned by a number of key Scottish Government priorities and strategic approaches including the National Performance Framework and Equally Safe [2] ; and
  • how our National Action Plan, which is informed by engagement with partners in all sectors, the experiences and expertise of communities, and of service providers and service users, will prevent and ultimately eradicate FGM.

We describe the current landscape in relation to FGM and how our strategic approach recognises the need to prioritise prevention/protection of those at risk of FGM, provide services and appropriate support to survivors, and to hold perpetrators to account. It sets out where we are now and where we want to be. It also identifies any gaps in our knowledge and makes recommendations on how we can close them by working collaboratively with partners, across policy areas and with a wide range of interests. The National Action Plan does not contain an exhaustive list of activities required of each of the different partners involved. It is intended as a plan to help partner organisations and communities work together towards finding local solutions to eradicate FGM, working within the overarching framework of the National Action Plan.

Underpinning Priorities and Principles -
Programme for Government

The Programme for Government sets out the Government's programme of policy delivery and legislation with a focus on the following themes:

Creating More, Better Paid Jobs
in a Strong, Sustainable Economy.
Building a Fairer Scotland and Tackling Inequality. Passing Power to People and Communities.

Our Scottish Economic Strategy frames the Programme with a focus on inclusive growth through the mutually supportive pillars of competitiveness and tackling inequality.

National Performance Framework

Eradicating FGM is also essential to achieving the Scottish Government's overarching purpose:

"to focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth"

National Performance Framework outcomes

We have tackled the significant inequalities in Scottish society We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others We live our lives safe from crime, disorder and danger Our children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed
We have improved the life chances for children, young people and families at risk Our public services are high quality, continually improving, efficient and responsive to local people's needs We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people Our people are able to maintain their independence as they get older and are able to access appropriate support when they need it

Equally Safe - Scotland's Strategy to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women And Girls

The aim of this Strategy is to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls, creating a strong and flourishing Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and respected, and where women and girls live free from such abuse - and the attitudes that help perpetuate it.

All forms, all women

Equally Safe is Scotland's strategy to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls: domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault; sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in public; stalking; commercial sexual exploitation such as prostitution, pornography and human trafficking; dowry-related violence; Female Genital Mutilation ( FGM); forced marriage; and so-called 'honour'-based violence. Therefore our approach to tackling FGM has been aligned with the overarching priorities of that strategy:

Prevention Scottish society embraces equality and mutual respect, and rejects all forms of violence against women and girls Participation Women and girls thrive as equal citizens: socially, culturally, economically and politically Provision Interventions are early and effective, preventing violence and maximising the safety and wellbeing of women and girls Protection Men [all individuals] desist from all forms of violence against women and girls and perpetrators of such violence receive a robust and effective response

Equally Safe Key Objectives

Positive gender roles are promoted Women and girls feel safe, respected and equal in our communities Justice responses are robust, swift, consistent and coordinated
People enjoy healthy, positive relationships Women and men have equality of opportunity particularly with regard to access to power and resources Women and girls access relevant, effective and integrated services Men who carry out violence against women and girls are identified early and held to account by the criminal justice system
Individuals and communities recognise and challenge violent and abusive behaviour Service providers competently identify violence against women and girls, and respond effectively Men who carry out violence against women and girls must change their behaviour and are supported to do so

This National Action Plan also identifies what more needs to be done taking account of the recommendations in the Intercollegiate report, Tackling FGM in the UK, and the recommendations from the Scottish Refugee Council Report, Tackling Female Genital Mutilation in Scotland - A Scottish Model of Intervention [3] .


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