Health staff across Britain are to be given new guidelines on how to identify and protect girls at risk of female genital mutilation under landmark reforms drawn up by leading medical organisations.

The guidelines, to be published ointly next week by bodies including the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Nursing, will state that genital mutilation is child abuse and cannot be tolerated.

They will list around eight key recommendations for tackling the problem and spell out that it is the duty of all medical professionals to pass on information about girls at risk.

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