Southwark Council reaffirms commitment to tackling FGM

6 February 2018

Tuesday 6 February is International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation and Southwark Council is reaffirming its commitment to tackling FGM in the borough.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).   
No one organisation alone can tackle FGM, so Southwark Council’s approach is to work closely together with health services, police, schools and community groups to protect and support those at risk

Southwark’s approach has been highly praised by Ofsted with inspectors noting that there is effective risk reduction work taking place and services for survivors of FGM demonstrated strong practice.

Alongside community engagement by social workers, GPs receive on-going FGM training to ensure recognition and reporting is consistent. Liaison with schools and ensuring that FGM is discussed at part of PSHE lessons as well as forming part of teacher training. Southwark Council, in partnership with the police, successfully applied to the High Court for an FGM protection order to prevent a child from being removed from the country, as it was feared she would be subject to FGM.

Cllr Victoria Mills, Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, said: “Southwark has much to be proud of when it comes to tackling FGM in the borough, but of course, there is much still to be done. There are not only devastating physical effects of FGM but also psychological ones which means that providing the right support for survivors is vital.  Southwark Council is committed to playing its part in both preventing FGM and helping its victims move on positively with their lives.”

More advice

  • The Africa Advocacy Foundation runs a range of interventions to support women survivors of FGM. They also have a number of community champions who conduct outreach work.
  • The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) helps Middle Eastern and Afghan women and girls who are living in the UK and advise on issues on violence against women and girls including FGM.  They provide emotional support to all clients and offer a free counselling service in Farsi, Kurdish, Arabic and English.

Page last updated: 06 February 2018