There has been a 30 per cent rise in the number of women in Germany who have suffered female genital mutilation (FGM) in just three years, as migration from regions where it is common has increased by 40 per cent.
The shocking findings, made in a study by the Family Affairs Ministry, found there to be 48,000 victims of the gruesome practice living in the country – an increase of 30 per cent since 2014.
FGM is common in some Muslim and African societies, where it is used to suppress and control female sexuality. The government document directly linked its rise in Germany to immigration, explaining:
“According to the study, the immigration of women and girls from countries in which female genital mutilation is particularly widespread increased by 40 per cent between the end of 2014 and the middle of 2016. The number of affected persons thus rose by almost 30 per cent.”
Most of the women living in Germany who have suffered FGM originate from Eritrea, Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Iraq.
The authors said there was an acute threat to up to 5,700 girls already in Germany, with potentially more than 9,000 at risk. The German state is already taking several measures to protect them.
Since December last year, authorities have been allowed to take passports from parents whom they suspect of taking their daughters abroad to have so-called “holiday cuts” where the procedure is performed out the country.
However, FGM is already illegal even when it is carried out abroad, according to German law, in order to deter parents from taking their daughters back to their home countries to have the operation carried out there.
Ralf Kleindiek, secretary of state for the Family Affairs Ministry, commented: “Female genital mutilation is a serious violation of human rights, which causes unbelievable physical pain and emotional distress.
“The study shows that this phenomenon is also very high in Germany – especially in the context of flight and migration,” she explained.