A new campaign in NSW will highlight a support hotline for young women and harsh penalties for the "barbaric" practice of female genital mutilation, the NSW government has announced.

The female genital mutilation, or FGM, campaign targeted at multicultural media in NSW will run with the support of health workers in Western Sydney where many migrant and refugee communities live.

Also known as female genital cutting, or female circumcision, the practice remained widespread in many parts of the world, but was illegal in Australia.

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