IT WOULD be virtually impossible for authorities to stop people taking children overseas to undergo genital mutilation, unless they have received evidence ahead of time, according to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Ms Bishop on Wednesday urged relatives or friends to alert authorities if they learned children were being taken abroad to undergo female genital mutilation.
It came as The Guardian Australia reported a Brisbane girl, believed to be aged between four and seven-years-old, was suspected to have been taken by her father, possibly to the west African nation of Gambia, for the procedure.
The Australian Federal Police have confirmed they have received a referral.
The deputy director of gynaecology at Mater Mother's Hospital, Elize Bolton, said she saw between three and five patients a year who had undergone the procedure, which is also known as female circumcision, at the anti-natal clinic the hospital runs for refugees.