Female Genital Mutilation Sees Sharp Rise in Germany Following Migrant Influx

There has been an increase in approximately 10,000 instances over 2016, women's rights organisation reports

File photo: Refugees and migrants from Africa and the Middle East arrive at Europe's southern ports.
Emilio Morenatti/AP

The number of girls living in Germany who have had their genitals mutilated increased sharply in 2016 due to migrants arriving from countries where this is practised, a spokeswoman for a women's rights organisation said Tuesday.

More than 58,000 women living in Germany have had their genitals mutilated, Terre des Femmes said.

Spokeswoman Charlotte Weil said that marked an increase of 10,000 compared with 2015.The group said at least 13,000 additional girls were at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM), which is banned in Germany.Weil said that was an increase of 4,000 compared with 2015.

"It's due to an increased influx from various countries in which FGM is practised, especially Somalia, Eritrea and Iraq," Weil said.

In 2016, some 280,000 migrants arrived in Germany, many fleeing war and conflict in the Middle East and Africa. Some 890,000 had arrived the previous year.

Weil added that it was important to educate people in Germany more about the issue and to hold talks with communities that practice FGM to help protect girls at risk. FGM is tolerated in some countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.