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A report on the prevalence of female circumcision and female genital mutilation (FC/FGM). In seeking to help eliminate the practice, the work places it firmly in a human rights and legal framework. The authors: describe FC/FGM, its history, its consequences for health and the reasons used to justify it; examine the history of the movement working to combat it; and present data from 40 case studies, North and South, covering prevalence, legal measures and other state steps towards eradication, campaigns and prosecutions.;The book shows that, in spite of an extensive and growing African movement to combat FC/FGM, its prevalence is still very high indeed. It is primarily the countries of the North which have the most developed and explicit laws against the practice of FC/FGM, but directed only at their immigrant populations - a fact which throws up one of the classic dilemmas of human rights work. The authors suggest a solution through the implementation of human rights treaties, and make recommendations for action by governments, the international community, and non-governmental institutions.