Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) occurs in Australia even though it is considered a non-practising country. A report by No FGM Australia states that more than 83,000 female immigrants in Australia underwent or are at risk of undergoing FGM/C. FGM/C constitutes a risk also for girls born in Australia.
As highlighted in the Review of Australia’s Female Genital Mutilaton legal framework, all Australian States and Territories have passed criminal legislation banning FGM/C, which applies extraterritorially. However, FGM/C is still practised in the country. One reason could be that penalties for performing the procedure are not consistent; ranging from 7 to 21 years prison sentences.
Examples of passed legislation include the Australian Capital Territory’s Crimes (Amendment) Act (No. 3) 1995, New South Wales’s Crimes Act 1900 (amended in 1994), the Northern Territory’s Criminal Code, South Australia’s Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (amended in 1995) and Victoria’s Crimes (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 1996.
Anti-FGM/C Organisations in Australia
Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health NETFA Project
Email: see website for regional programme contacts
Under the auspices of MCWH, the NETFA website provides information about dedicated FGM/C programmes operating in Australian states and territories. Programmes vary across regions and offer a range of services, including community education, workshops, advocacy, counselling services and hospital referral services for women affected by FGM/C.
NSW Education Program on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
No FGM Australia
We have no FGM/C Lawyer for Australia, but would welcome suggestions. Please contact us.