NRK Dagsrevyen was in Somalia and interviewed several women who circumcise Norwegian-Somali girls. NRK interviewed 10 circumcisers who say that together they have circumcised 185 Norwegian-Somali girls - most of them in the past couple of years.
Now school is over and many of the 18,000 Somalis in Norway go home to different parts of Somalia for the summer vacation. For many years it has been speculated that Norwegian-Somali girls are circumcised when they go back to their homeland on the summer holiday.
NRK can now document for the first time that women who work in circumcision confirm that to a great extent they circumcise girls who live in Western Europe. And not least: they say that Norwegian-Somali parents are good customers - every summer - after school ends in Norway. Parents from Norway are among those who pay best. The price for circumcising a girl is 150 kroner.
Since January 1st, 1996, it is illegal to circumcise girls in Norway. It is also forbidden for people living in Norway to circumcise their daughters abroad. Breaking the law could lead up to 8 years in jail. But nobody has ever been indicted or convicted for this in Norway.
In the past 11 years many times Norwegian-Somali parents have gone home to Somalia during the summer vacation, in order to secretly circumcise their daughters.
NRK interviewed 10 women who work as midwives at hospitals and health centers in Hargeisa, the largest city in northwest Somalia, called Somaliland. In their free time they earn money as circumcisers. They say that together they have circumcised about 185 girls with Norwegian-Somali background in 2005-2006.
"I had circumcised many from Norway. I don't remember the exact number but I remember that I circumcised about 40 girls," says Foosia Adantil.
The circumcisers say that they do the type of circumcision that the Norwegian-Somali parents ask for - also the extended circumcision called infibulation, which almost completely closes off the vagina.
They also do sunna-circumcision (ie, traditional), which means that the whole or part of the clitoris is cut off.
Some of the circumcisers say they refuse to do infibulation on Norwegian-Somali girls, even if the parents demand it.
These circumcisers do nothing illegal. Female circumcision is not forbidden in these part of Somalia. It is the Norwegian-Somali parents who break the law.
The circumcises say the would prefer stopping circumcising. Many of them think it is a unfortunate tradition.
Midwife Safia Dualleh Farahtil: "They circumcise girls on their free time because they earn little money working at the hospital or health station. They say they don't have enough money to let it go".
Farah is working for the authorities in Somaliland to be a contact person for international organizations that work against female circumcision in this area of Somalia.
Some of the circumcisers say that now in the summer they had agreed with Norwegian-Somali parents on circumcision of girls.
As one of the circumcisers says: "They haven't come yet, school is not over yet, but I hope they come to me. If God wills".
Source: NRK (Norwegian)
See also: Norway: Possibly 50% parents continue female circumcision tradition, Norway: Illegal female circumcision