United Kingdom



2018 population growth rate


Estimated prevalence among girls and women

There are no national statistics on female genital cutting (FGC) in the United Kingdom.  The practice is not indigenous to the country, however FGC has been known to continue within some diaspora, refugee and immigrant populations.

One research study suggests 137,000 women living in England and Wales are affected by the practice.

Source: City University

Type practised

The type of FGC practised by communities in the UK is likely to be varied, depending on the traditions surrounding the practice within their ethnic group/country of heritage.


The average age at which girls living in the UK have undergone FGC is unknown. Girls at risk may undergo FGC from birth, approximately up until the age of 16, depending on the traditional age of cutting within a specific ethnic group.


Varied. Girls living in the UK may be at risk of undergoing the practice within the country, or overseas. This could be carried out by a medical practitioner, or by a traditional cutter.

Legal status

There has been a law against FGC in the UK since 1985. In 2003, an additional law was introduced, making it illegal to take a girl overseas to undergo the practice.

National progress

  • 2013 – Announced a £35 million investment into ending FGC.
  • 2016 – First published multi-agency statutory guidance on FGC for girls at risk in the UK.
  • 2018 – Announced a £50 million investment into ending FGC in Africa.

Human Development Index ranking

14 in 2018 index, based on 2017 data.

Infant mortality rate

3.7 deaths per 1,000 live births (2016).

Maternal mortality rate

9 deaths per 100,000 live births (2015).

Source: Human Development Index

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