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Failure to evaluate introduction of female genital mutilation mandatory reporting
  1. Felicity Gerry1,2,
  2. Andrew Rowland3,4,
  3. Sam Fowles5,6,
  4. Suzanne Smith3,7,
  5. Deborah Hodes8,9,
  6. Sarah Creighton8
  1. 1Queen's Counsel in London and Darwin, specialising in FGM law
  2. 2School of Law, Charles Darwin University, Casuarina, Northern Territory, Australia
  3. 3Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Manchester, UK
  4. 4University of Salford, Salford, UK
  5. 5University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  6. 6University of London Institute in Paris, Paris, France
  7. 7University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK
  8. 8University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  9. 9Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Andrew Rowland, Emergency Department, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Manchester, UK; andrew.rowland{at}

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Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an extremely harmful crime against women and girls involving intentional altering of the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It may have devastating health consequences. Performing, or assisting in the performance of, FGM in the UK or by taking a child abroad carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years in the UK.1–3 However, there has yet to be a successful prosecution for FGM in the UK.

On 31 October 2015, section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 came into force. This legislation introduced a new duty on healthcare professionals4 to report cases of FGM in girls under the age of 18 years. The duty on the regulated professional is mandatory and …

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  • Twitter Follow Andrew Rowland at @DrAndrewRowland

  • Contributors AR carried out the Freedom of Information Act 2000 request. AR and FG drafted the first draft of the letter. AR, FG, SF, SS, DH and SC revised the first draft of the letter. AR, FG, SF, SS, DH and SC contributed to the revised letter and response to the reviewer's comments.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.