6 February 2013
According to the Dutch Health Ministry, efforts in the Netherlands to eradicate female circumcision are proving effective. While exact figures are unavailable, Pharos research institute estimates some 40-50 girls living in the Netherlands may undergo female circumcision every year, during visits to their country of origin. In total some 30,000 women in the Netherlands have undergone the procedure, usually before arriving in the country. The research showed Somalia and Egypt as the countries of origin in which the practice was most common.
In a statement, Junior Health Minister Martin van Rijn commented, “these remain confrontational figures but the fact the risk to girls who have lived here for some time is low is a good sign.” Female genital mutilation is a criminal offence in the Netherlands, and constitutes child abuse when carried out on underage girls.