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Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)


Female genital mutilation (FGM) is:

  • clitoridectomy (removal of the clitoris)
  • excision of any other part of the female genital organs
  • a procedure to narrow or close the vaginal opening
  • any other mutilation of the female genital organs.

FGM does not include a sexual reassignment procedure or a medical procedure that has a genuine therapeutic purpose.

[See Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) s 33 and Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA) s 18(4)]


Under section 33A of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA), FGM is a crime. It is not a defence that the person who has been mutilated consented to the procedure. Nor is it a defence that the person's parent or guardian consented to the procedure.

Maximum penalty: 7 years imprisonment.

Under section 33B of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA), a person must not take a child from the State, or arrange for a child to be taken from the State, with the intention of having her subjected to genital mutilation. It will be presumed (in the absence of proof to the contrary) that the offence of taking a child out of the State for the purpose of subjecting her to genital mutiation has been committed if the child was taken out of the State and, while out of the State was subjected to genital mutilation.

Maximum penalty: 7 years imprisonment.

Prevention measures

Under section 53(1)(d) of the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA), if a child or young person is at risk of being removed from the State for the purposes of FGM, the Court may make such orders as necessary and appropriate to prevent the removal , including that a specified person not remove them from the State and/or that their passport be held by the Court for a period of time.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)  :  Last Revised: Mon Nov 19th 2018
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.