Feb. 6 is designated as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. In support of this important issue, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) joins other U.S. government agencies and the international community in calling for an end to the practice of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C).
FGM/C is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for no medical reason. The practice has no medical benefit. It is a human rights violation and a crime under federal law. When committed against children, it is a form of child abuse. The U.S. government opposes FGM/C no matter the type, severity, or motivation for performing it. People who commit this crime can face prison time and significant immigration consequences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates approximately 500,000 girls in the United States are at risk of having or have had FGM/C performed on them.
As we begin a new decade, we reiterate our strong and unwavering support for local, national and international efforts to combat FGM/C. We welcome the growing number of states upholding laws that criminalize FGM/C.
We continue to work with interagency partners to implement the Department of Homeland Security’s Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting (FGM/C) Outreach Strategy (PDF, 263 KB). We also will continue to identify opportunities to end FGM/C in the United States and worldwide.
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