Facts and figures

Migration to Ireland has increased since 1990, with 12% of the total population of 4.5 million born outside the country (Central Statistics Office (CS0), 2012).

There is no evidence that FGM is taking place in Ireland itself. However, FGM does occur in countries of origin. According to European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) figures, 14,577 girls (aged 0 to 18) from families of FGM-practising countries of origin resided in Ireland in 2011, of whom 1-11% were likely to be at risk of FGM (EIGE, 2015). Similarly AkiDwA—a network of migrant women that has been working on the issue of FGM since 2001—estimates that some 3,780 women (aged 15 to 44) in Ireland have undergone FGM, based on the number of resident women from high-prevalence countries.

As a result of better data collection, figures for the prevalence of FGM continue to increase. For example, the National Maternity Healthcare Record (NMHCR) has incorporated FGM as a risk factor, improving data on pregnant women in particular.

The Irish Crime Classification System (ICCS) does not specifically refer to FGM. This makes it difficult to record FGM as a crime, with an impact on reporting and data collection. No case of FGM has to date been recorded by the crime and criminal justice section of the Central Statistics Office. However, a new national action plan on FGM, launched in May 2016, includes measures to improve data collection, including by police and other frontline and health care professionals.

Communities affected

The population of Ireland includes people of 199 nationalities, from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds (CS0 2012). Migrants living in Ireland are a broad and heterogeneous group, in terms of nationality, ethnicity, language skills, religion and migration status, which includes migrant workers, asylum seekers, refugees and foreign students. A significant number of people from affected communities live all 26 regions of Ireland, mainly from the African continent.