The Ministry of Justice has fast-tracked the implementation of a new civil law protection measure to protect girls and women who are victims of, or may be at risk of, genital mutilation.

The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Protection Order, which came into force on Friday, will be available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It has been brought into force in time for the school summer holidays, a time when girls are particularly at risk of being taken abroad and subjected to FGM.

The orders are closely modelled on the existing Forced Marriage Protection Orders, which are provided for in Part 4 of the Family Law Act 1996. The overall process should, therefore, be familiar to those who have had previous experience of applying for these orders, the MoJ said.