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The European Commission and NGOs are calling on EU member states to support victims living within their borders and protect girls who are at risk of undergoing a practice that violates numerous human rights.

Practiced in Africa as well as in certain countries in the Middle East and communities in Asia and Latin America, female genital mutilation is the internationally-acknowledged name for the practice of cutting women's genitalia. Girls are subjected to FGM for a variety of reasons, explained Christine Loudes, director of the EndFGM campaign at Amnesty International.

"FGM is performed for non-therapeutic reasons," Loudes said. "It's done in the name of tradition, in the name of aesthetics and sometimes in the name of religion."


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