FGM in Europe

It is estimated that around 600.000 women are living with the consequences of FGM in the EU. FGM exists in Europe and has been around for a long time. However, research has shown that there are still many challenges in Europe that need to be addressed in order to develop adequate national and European policies on FGM.


Note: map data from 2019


While data does exist on FGM in Europe, obtaining the figures has always proven to be difficult and hindered by many challenges. The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) plays a leading role in providing information and research on prevalence of female genital mutilation in the European Union and supports Member States to prevent and combat this harmful practice and has carried out three main studies on the subject (below).


Further research and data can also be found here:

2018 Terres Des Femmes study on FGM (DE)

2017 Terres Des Femmes study on FGM (EN)

2017-18 NHS England Annual Report on FGM (EN)

UNHCR Too Much Pain Report (EN)


Many challenges stand in the way of progress when it comes to ending FGM in Europe. These include:

  • Lack of knowledge in the professional community on FGM for those who come into contact with FGM cases. See UEFGM for supporting professionals dealing with FGM.
  • Lack of funding for grassroot communities: In order for there to be cooperative action to end FGM in Europe and beyond, affected FGM communities need to be present in ending FGM.
  • Lack of data and research.
  • Lack of a systematic approach to the provision of services relating to FGM and the need for culturally sensitive services.
  • Too many obstacles to the prosecution of FGM cases that need to be removed while taking into account the best interest of the child.

What Can Europe Do?

At European Union (EU) level, there are key tools that contribute strongly to putting an end to the harmful practice of FGM in Europe and beyond. The Network works to insure that policy, decision makers and other EU stakeholders continue to increase their engagement in ending FGM through:

  • Increased understanding and awareness on EU commitments on FGM
  • Supporting NGOs/CSOs and grass root communities in tackling FGM
  • Implement a coordinated human rights based and child focused approach in all areas relating to ending FGM

Key tools: