More than 30 million girls are at risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) over the next decade, a study by Unicef has found.
It said more than 125 million girls and women alive today had undergone a procedure now opposed by the majority in countries where it was practised.
Ritual cutting of girls' genitals is practised by some African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities in the belief it protects a woman's virginity.
Unicef wants action to end FGM.
The UN Children Fund survey, described as the most comprehensive to date on the issue, found that support for FGM was declining amongst both men and women.
FGM "is a violation of a girl's rights to health, well-being and self-determination," said Unicef deputy executive director Geeta Rao Gupta,
"What is clear from this report is that legislation alone is not enough."
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