United States


Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) occurs amongst members of migrant communities in the United States, even though it is considered a non-practising country. According to an article in the Guardian more than 500,000 women in the U.S. have undergone or are at risk of undergoing FGM/C.

The US outlawed FGM/C with the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, making it punishable by to up to five years in prison. In 2013, the law was amended by the Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act, prohibiting anyone from knowingly transporting a girl out of the country for the purpose of undergoing FGM/C. The Act was designed to address the problem of ‘vacation cutting’, in which girls living in the United States are taken to their parents’ country of origin (typically during school breaks) to undergo the procedure.  Under the new federal law, anyone found guilty of doing so may be sentenced to up to five years in prison. The aforementioned fact sheet lists U.S. States with Anti-FGM/C laws. 

The United States have signed but nor ratified the ICESCR in 1977, CEDAW in 1980 and the CRC in 1995. For U.S. case law concerning FGM/C please see our Case Law page

US Lawyer experienced in FGM/C asylum cases

Matthew L. Hoppock

Address: Hoppock Law Firm, LLC, 10985 Cody Street, Suite 130, Overland Park, KS 66210
Email: reception@hoppocklawfirm.com

Matthew L. Hoppock practises Immigration Law and International Law. He deals, among other things, with immigration-related litigation, immigration appeals and asylum & refugee issues. He has represented a number of clients who have suffered FGM/C.    

Anti-FGM/C Organisations in the US

African Women’s Health Center (AWHC)

Brigham and Women’s Hospital 2013 | 75 Francis Street, Boston MA 02115
Tel: 617-732-4740 
Email: africanwomen@partners.org 

The overall mission of the AWHC is to improve the health of refugee and immigrant women who have undergone FGM/C. It provides access, understanding and community to women who have long-term complications from this tradition and who seek reproductive health care. The AWHC also offers reconstructive surgery. 

AHA Foundation 

130 7th Avenue, Suite 236, New York, NY 10011
Email: info@theahafoundation.org

The AHA Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, women’s rights activist. The AHA Foundation advocates to expand and strengthen federal and state laws in the US that help protect women and girls FGM/C, honour violence, forced marriage and other issues that impact the well-being and threaten lives of women and girls.