Legal Information

FGM Is An Illegal Practice

The practice of FGM is illegal in every state and territory of Australia. This includes performing FGM on a child that lives in Australia while they are overseas.  Each state and territory has its own version of these laws. There are serious consequences for illegally practising FGM in Australia. 

Female Genital Mutilation is:

  • child abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • grievous bodily harm
  • violence

Female genital mutilation cannot be excused for either cultural or religious reasons. In Australia:

  • It is a crime to intend to carry out female genital mutilation.
  • It is a crime to make preparations or plans to carry out female genital mutilation.

Check legislation in your state.

If the police receive a call for a child in danger of FGM they must take it seriously. It is also vital that the police deal sensitively and appropriately with the reporter and the family. 

It is important that the process of reporting the crime is facilitated so that the person reporting does not give up.

If a person calls and wants to make anonymous report they must be assured of the discretion of the police in dealing with the report.  It is highly likely that the person making the report could be attacked, ostracised or abused for calling the police. 

The evidence of a child in danger of FGM may be circumstantial. Do not hesitate to apply the child protection processes in your state which may provide protection

Who Is In Danger Of FGM?

If a girl:

  • has a mother who has had female genital mutilation
  • has a sister who has female genital mutilation
  • has a father from an FGM affected community
  • is being taken for a “holiday” to an FGM affected country
  • is being visited by elder relatives from a country affected by FGM

then she is in serious danger of FGM.

Child protective orders can be served to protect a girl who may have any of the above.

Please see our pages for Social workers for further information which may assist police in acting in the event of a report of a girl in danger of FGM. Serious questions need to be asked and the family will not divulge their intentions to subject a girl to FGM.