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Germany witnesses an increase in cases of female genital mutilation, migrant influx from the Middle East and Africa being seen as a reason

The practice of FGM causes several health issues in a female and is considered as the violation of human rights of girls and women by the WHO.

In recent years, Germany has reportedly witnessed a sharp rise in the cases of injuries caused by female genital mutilation (FGM). According to a report of DW, a women’s rights group has claimed on December 11 that last year almost 2000 patients were diagnosed in Germany who needed treatment for FGM.

The report said that as per the data provided by The TaskForce for effective prevention of FGM, the numbers have shot up 40% this year if compared with 1300 diagnoses following FGM in 2016. A survey was reportedly conducted by The TaskForce of German physician associations which showed that about 200 of these cases were minors, and half of whom were under the age of 12. The survey included only the females who received outpatient care by statutory health insurance providers. It did not include inpatient stays in hospitals or during private medical treatment.

The founder of The TaskForce, Ines Laufer, said that the figures recorded in the survey did not present the complete picture of the situation. “What we see from these figures is only the tip of the iceberg and represents perhaps 2 to 5 per cent of the actual mutilation victims who live in our country, because political leaders do not want complete data collection”, Laufer said. As per the report, the estimate of the women’s rights group said that over 20,000 girls may have undergone FGM because they or their parents came from countries with an FGM rate of above 75%, e.g. Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Mali, Somalia and others.

They attributed such a sharp rise in the FGM cases to the unusually large numbers of migrants allowed into Germany from the Middle East and Africa in 2015 and 2016. Laufer has demanded for the implementation of state protective measures to combat the problem particularly in case of minors. “We call for the implementation of state protective measures, such as regular medical checks and the introduction of mandatory medical reports to the law enforcement authorities if genital mutilation is found in underage victims”, Laufer stressed.

What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation or FGM comprises of procedures involving partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other injuries to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is usually carried out by traditional circumcisers. The process can cause a number of health issues including infections, cysts, infertility and complications in childbirth. It can also increase the risk of newborn deaths.

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