Rights Group: 17,000 Girls in Germany at Risk of Genital Mutilation

The women’s rights organization Terre des Femmes has warned that it sees the cruel practice of female genital mutilation increasingly spreading in Europe, brought in part by global migration.

The rights group estimated that there are now more than 100,000 women and girls in Germany whose genitals have been mutilated, and more than 17,000 girls in Germany are potentially at risk.

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“We therefore want to work with partner organizations to raise awareness of female genital mutilation,” said Edell Otieno-Okoth, an expert at the children’s rights organization Plan International.

She said there are dozens of counseling services across Germany that offer support for affected families, but said it is also equally as important to raise awareness among medical and social professionals – such as midwives, paediatricians and social workers – about the risks and how to assist those affected.

“The topic of female genital mutilation must be included in the curriculum for all health and social care professionals,” Otieno-Okoth said.

Plan International has been campaigning against female genital mutilation in several African countries for 20 years, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Sierra Leone.

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