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FGM Protection Order

A Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order (FGMPO) is a civil law remedy under section 5A of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 which offers a means of protection to girls and women who are victims, or may be at risk, of Female Genital Mutilation. The rules covering the court process on FGM Protection Orders are contained in Part 11 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. They can be applied for in the same way as a Forced Marriage Protection Order.

Applications for an FGM Order can be made by:

  • the girl or women to be protected (in person or with legal representation);
  • a Relevant Third Party (currently, only local authorities have been classified as relevant third parties);
  • any other person with the permission of the court (for example, this could be the police, a voluntary sector support service, a healthcare professional, a teacher, a friend or family member).

If the court makes an order, it can impose prohibitions, requirements and restrictions, the aim of which are to protect the girl or woman at risk. The court must consider all the circumstances including the need to secure the health, safety, and well-being of the girl so the details can be quite specific and creative in order to achieve this.

Breach of an FGMPO would be a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment, or as a civil breach punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment.

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