London's airports on high alert for FGM victims

Police are worried that London's airports will be used to transport young girls to another country to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).

Officials will be looking in particular at flights to and from countries where the numbers of such procedures happening are the highest, with patrols being carried out.

Jacqui Hunt, director of Equality Now’s Europe office, told Euronews that under-reporting makes it difficult to know how many girls are being affected, especially as it is often their own family members who make the FGM arrangements.

Like other forms of child abuse, it can be easy to hide the impact of FGM and the victim can be severely traumatised years after the procedure has been carried out, making it difficult for them to report the incident.

“There is also a big challenge with detection as finding the physical evidence involves an invasive examination,” Ms Hunt explained.

Over the summer holidays, more children are at risk because they have extra time to recover from the injuries they sustain before they have to return to school.

Reports suggest that a lot of FGM happens overseas, where carrying out the procedure is more common.ADNFCR-2094-ID-801838256-ADNFCR