FGM has been officially recognised as a human rights violation by the United Nations since 1992. Still, efforts to prevent the mutilation of newborns and young girls often meet with little success. Female genital mutilation comes in various degrees of severity, ranging from a cut to the clitoris or its removal (FGM I), through circumcision (FGM II) to the sewing together of the outer labia (FGM III). In the most extreme cases, labia that have grown together as a result of FGM are ripped apart violently during sexual intercourse or childbirth and are then sewn back together (infibulation).
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