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Health Policy. 2004 Nov;70(2):151-62.

Female genital mutilation, asylum seekers and refugees: the need for an integrated European Union agenda.

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  • 1International Centre for Reproductive Health, Ghent University, Belgium.


Asylum seekers and refugees (ASRs) are a heterogeneous population with distinct physical and psychological needs. ASRs with additional health needs are girls and women who have undergone, or are at risk of undergoing, female genital mutilation (FGM). Across the European Union (EU), variation exists in Member States' anti-FGM and asylum legislation, the rigour of existing research programmes, and the operational coherence of the multiple agencies combating the practice. ASRs' needs are, consequently, not being addressed satisfactorily. This paper proposes an integrated future agenda, applicable in all EU countries, capable of meeting these girls' and women's needs.

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