Thousands of schoolgirls in the United Kingdom are at high risk of undergoing female genital mutilation [FGM] during this year's summer break, according to the British government, which is actively promoting several nationwide campaigns aimed at raising awareness of the spiraling problem.
The summer holiday—often referred to as the "cutting season"—is an especially dangerous time for at-risk girls, anti-FGM activists warn. Many families consider the summer to be a convenient time to carry out the procedure because there is time for the girls to heal before they return to school in the fall.
British girls are often sent abroad during the summer to be mutilated by "house doctors" in their ancestral countries. Others are being sent to Dubai and Singapore for a more "medicalized" form of FGM. But equally large numbers of girls are being cut in Britain, according to London's Metropolitan Police Service.