According to estimates by the women’s rights organization “Terre des Femmes” (TDF), more than 100,000 women and girls living in Germany are affected by genital mutilation. According to the estimated number of unreported cases, up to around 17,300 girls are also potentially at risk, the organization announced on Thursday. As in previous years, the number of women affected has increased enormously. In the last unreported statistics, TDF assumed around 75,000 people were affected.

Female genital mutilation involves cutting off part or all of a young girl’s external genitalia. The procedure is usually performed without anesthetic and with non-sterile objects such as razor blades or broken glass. According to the World Health Organization, around 200 million women worldwide are affected.

“We urgently need improved data in Germany in order to effectively protect girls through targeted prevention and to be able to provide better care for those who are already affected,” said Sonja Störmer from TDF. “These girls and women are in the middle of our society and we have to make them visible.”

For the estimates, TDF based its estimates on the number of victims in the women’s and girls’ countries of origin. Countries of origin with a high probability are therefore Guinea, Malaysia and Somalia.

According to the TDF, the estimates only refer to women with the citizenship of their country of origin who came to Germany after their birth. Among those potentially at risk, girls born in Germany with other nationalities are taken into account. Girls and women without papers, women who have already been naturalized and girls with German citizenship who are at risk are not included in the data, the organization said. The actual number of unreported cases could therefore exceed the estimates.