Today, on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services joins other U.S. government agencies and the global community in calling for an end to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C).
The United Nations reports that more than 200 million women and girls have undergone some form of FGM/C. On Zero Tolerance Day, the international community breaks the silence around the harm FGM/C causes to women and girls worldwide. We stand together to recognize that FGM/C is a serious human rights abuse that can have a significant impact on women and girls’ health.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that more than 500,000 women and girls in the United States are at risk of or have been subjected to FGM/C. Some women and girls are cut on U.S. soil. Others are sent abroad to undergo the procedure. The United States treats FGM/C as a serious crime and, when done to children, as a form of child abuse. People who commit this crime can face prison time and significant immigration consequences.
USCIS is committed to expanding its existing efforts to raise awareness of FGM/C in the United States and implementing the Department of Homeland Security Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) Outreach Strategy (PDF, 263 KB). We are collaborating with local communities and others in the Department of Homeland Security to gather and share information and best practices to end FGM/C. We are also providing resources highlighting FGM/C-related assistance to women and girls who have undergone or are at risk of FGM/C. USCIS will continue to identify opportunities to #EndFGM in the United States and worldwide.
More information about the practice of FGM/C can be found in the USCIS FGM/C brochure (PDF, 714 KB), the U.S. Government Fact Sheet (PDF, 573 KB), and on the United Nations’ Zero Tolerance Day website.