Speaking at the Girl Summit – a major international conference in London designed to highlight the issues of FGM and child marriage – the home secretary, Theresa May, said the cross-party unit would help protect thousands of girls across the country.
The unit, which could operate in a similar way to the government's forced marriage unit, has been a key demand of campaigners against FGM. "These measures will ensure that we can maintain the momentum on stamping out these harmful practices," May said.
The home secretary said the government would also strengthen laws around FGM, and would hold parents responsible if their child was a victim of the practice. May also announced a consultation into making it mandatory for professionals to report FGM and said victims going through court cases would be given lifelong anonymity.