Far East clinics offer genital mutilation to UK girls

A BBC investigation has discovered a group of clinics in the Far East willing to carry out female genital mutilation on British children, a procedure which has been illegal in the UK for nearly 30 years.

It is estimated that up to 20,000 children in the UK are at risk of this practice each year which involves the complete or partial removal of the external genital organs.

Nasiim Ahmed, working with BBC Inside Out, discovered a group of clinics in Singapore which were willing to provide a form of female genital mutilation called Sunat.

Of the six clinics she contacted, she found three willing to undertake female genital mutilation, a form of circumcision for young women.

Although Sunat is legal in Singapore, it is illegal for British parents to take their daughters there to undergo the procedure.

After listening to Inside Out's evidence, the NSPCC's Sarah Carter said she would be passing this child protection issue to the police.

Alison Saunders, director of public prosecutions, says it is difficult to prosecute if people do not come forward so raising awareness amongst young women is extremely important.

Anyone who is worried about female genital mutilation can contact the FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550.

Inside Out is broadcast on Monday, 17 February at 19:30 GMT on BBC One West Midlands and West as well as nationwide on the iPlayer for seven days thereafter.