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Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)


Female genital mutilation (FGM) is:

  • clitoridectomy (removal of the clitoris)
  • excision of any other part of the female genital organs
  • a procedure to narrow or close the vaginal opening
  • any other mutilation of the female genital organs.

FGM does not include a sexual reassignment procedure or a medical procedure that has a genuine therapeutic purpose.

[See Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) s 33 and Children's Protection Act 1993 (SA) s 26A]


Under s 33A of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA), FGM is a crime. It is not a defence that the person who has been mutilated consented to the procedure. Nor is it a defence that the person's parent or guardian consented to the procedure.

Maximum penalty: 7 years imprisonment.

Under s 33B of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA), a person must not take a child from the State, or arrange for a child to be taken from the State, with the intention of having her subjected to genital mutilation. It will be presumed (in the absence of proof to the contrary) that the offence of taking a child out of the State for the purpose of subjecting her to genital mutiation has been committed if the child was taken out of the State and, while out of the State was subjected to genital mutilation.

Maximum penalty: 7 years imprisonment.

Prevention measures

Under s 26B of the Children's Protection Act 1993 (SA), if the Court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to suspect a child is at risk of FGM, the Court may make orders for the protection of the child. Such orders might provide for the periodic examination of the child, that the child not be removed from the State and/or that their passport be held by the Court for a period of time.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)  :  Last Revised: Mon Apr 14th 2014
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