A major inquiry has been launched into female genital mutilation (FGM) to uncover why there has not been a single prosecution in the UK since it was made a criminal offence, and to try to bring an end to the illegal practice.

After sustained pressure from campaigners who have called for the the government to take action, the home affairs select committee will examine if the current legal framework is fit for purpose and look at why there has not been a prosecution in three decades.

Following a report from the Royal College of Midwives, which identified more than 66,000 victims of FGM in England and Wales and warned that 24,000 girls under the age of 15 were at risk, the committee will probe the systems for collecting and sharing information on FGM, which campaigners have stated is patchy in places and non-existent in others.

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