Expert consultation on implementation of WHO guidelines on female genital mutilation in Europe

16–17 March 2017, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Although there are no reliable data on the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the WHO European Region, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of women living in Europe have been subjected to the practice. FGM has been a totally unknown phenomenon for health care professionals in the eastern part of the Region; however, recently published information confirms that hundreds of girls have been forced to undergo FGM in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation and Georgia.

WHO headquarters, in collaboration with the Regional Office for Europe and Sheffield Hallam University, is organizing an expert consultation to present and discuss the recently published WHO guidelines on the management of health complications from female genital mutilation. Plans to implement the guidelines and develop training materials for health care providers will be discussed by health professionals from many western European countries, representatives of the WHO collaborating centres and partner organizations and WHO staff from the Regional Office and headquarters.

The dissemination and implementation of these guidelines are important steps for improving the quality of health care and health outcomes for many girls and women. This is in line with the recently adopted regional policy documents Strategy on women’s health and well-being in the WHO European Region, Action Plan for Sexual and Reproductive Health: towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Europe – leaving no one behind and Strategy and action plan for refugee and migrant health in the WHO European Region.