The NSW government is increasing penalties for people convicted of performing female genital mutilation and making it a crime to take anyone overseas to undergo the procedure.
The maximum sentence for the offence will be increased from seven years to 21 years, the government said on Wednesday.
In addition, a new offence of removing a person from NSW with the intention of having the procedure performed on them will be introduced, also attracting a maximum sentence of 21 years.
Minister for Family and Community Services and for Women, Pru Goward, said female genital mutilation was an abhorrent offence which would not be tolerated by the community.
"These changes send the message loud and clear that no matter whether you are the doctor holding the scalpel, or the parent buying the plane ticket, the penalty will be the same," Ms Goward said.
"This crime has profound effects on women's health such as infertility, childbirth complications, and infant and maternal mortality during and shortly after childbirth."
Attorney-General Greg Smith said NSW now had the toughest penalties in Australia, equal with Tasmania, for the crime.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner said NSW Health would help develop education campaigns for culturally diverse communities to enhance awareness of the increased penalties and the long-term health impacts on victims.