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The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation aims to raise awareness of the practice and work towards the elimination of female genital mutilation, which is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women; reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. In July 2014, the UK and UNICEF co-hosted the first Girl Summit, aimed at mobilising domestic and international efforts to end FGM within a generation. FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 (later replaced by the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003). Despite it being a criminal offence, the first criminal prosecution did not take place until 2014 when a doctor was alleged to have performed FGM, but acquitted after trial. The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee’s latest report, Female Genital Mutilation: Abuse Unchecked, 15 September 2016, makes recommendations to encourage more successful prosecutions.

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